As the high-pitched whine of the Probability Portal reached a crescendo, traces of an otherworldly energy danced around the emitters before flashing once, twice...then finally six times total. In the heavily fortified room beneath a half mile of solid granite now stood six women, where none had been moments earlier. All of them were attired in very distinctive uniforms and were as varied as they come, but this group of women were among the most powerful and versatile this world had ever seen.
Carrie Zor-El Dox, one half of the Supergirl/Powergirl duo, reached over and shut down the portal. She and her 'twin' had built this very machine and they knew it inside and out. Without pausing, she instantly reset the controls, and prepped it to send them back when the time came.
When she was finished, the assembled group all cast their attention to the person who built the room around the portal in the first place.
"Ok, Chas," Batgirl began, gesturing to the door. "You're up."
The black and red clad Supergirl took a step towards the door, but as expected, it did not open."Computer," she called out into the room. "Recognize primary admin, Hudson, Chasity."
"No such administrator exists on record," the computer chimed back at the young woman.
Carol Danvers, otherwise known as Warbird, gave her teammate an 'I told you so' expression and put her hands on her hips. "Chas, I told ya. They erased your access."
"Mmm hmmm. Computer, restore primary admin from crystal core. Override code Epsilon Lambda. Voice key verify."
"Override code accepted. Primary admin Hudson, Chasity restored."
"How in the..." Carol sputtered, but was even more put off by the devilish grins coming from Karen, Carrie, and Alysa. "How did you do that?"
Chasity smiled innocently. "I built the system, Carol. There are thirty-six redundant hardwired backups. You don't think I was just going to let them take my system from me, did you?"
"Only thirty-six?" Alysa asked.
"I was in a hurry,” Chasity confirmed before readdressing the computer. "Computer, begin a thermographic scan of everyone in this room."
"Motherboard, can you upload yourself here?"
"Go ahead if you don't mind."
Seconds later, Motherboards' voice came through the speakers in the room. "I am in."
"Can you set it up to allow access through the Portal Room door to anyone bearing one of our rings? And put the file under my override code." Chasity was about to cease the communication when Karen tapped on her shoulder. Turning and gesturing silently to herself and the others she asked a question that was clearly understood.
"Motherboard, also assign level two admin status to each of the rings present. Verify by thermographic and voice print scans."
Nodding at her quick handiwork, Chasity turned to their leader. "Go ahead and test it. The door should open for you now. Just press the ring to the door. I built a thermo plate into it."
Alysa walked up and touched the door and was satisfied when it instantly slid upwards. "Nice. Now let's get going." Just as she stepped through the door, Chasity and Carol tried to yell out warnings, but it was too late. The moment Batgirl's boot touched the outer hallway, the alarms began blaring.
She turned on her heel and faced her best friend, the annoyance clearly etched on her face. "You didn't say anything about alarms, Chas."
Cassie Sandsmark, Wonder Girl of the Inheritors, sighed. "Well, there goes our low profile."
The six of them made their way to the core of the fortress, the thirty foot diameter shaft carved directly into the solid granite of the island with the house itself built directly atop. It was nearly identical to the Colorado Fortress in Otherverse, except for the extra depth. The women had barely made it to the shaft when they were met by the first layer of defense.
An almost middle-aged Englishman in a custom made, nineteenth century style pants and vest was already there, leaning against the open air elevator. "Good Morning, Ladies."
They all knew exactly who this man was, but Carol was the first to respond. Her nose curled at the sight of the Garou, a natural werewolf.
"Damian," she said bluntly. The two had fought many times in the past. "Can we help you?"
"When the system says we have an intruder, we are required to investigate."
"And now that you know it's us, please excuse us. We're in a hurry."
The Garou shifted uncomfortably as he met Chasity's gaze. "You ladies may pass, but, I'm sorry to say, Ms. Hudson, you may not. Unless you wish to be arrested, your only choice is to return from whence you came."
The six members of the Sorority just stared at the older man for a moment. He was absolutely serious.
"Ladies, we have work to do," Alysa finally said, breaking the silence. "Let's go."
In unison, the women shot straight up into the air and quickly out of sight of the sputtering Englishman still at the bottom of the shaft. They could hear him enter the elevator and start the motor, but he would be at least five minutes behind them.
Landing at the top level, Batgirl looked around a moment.
"You have a bit of a sentimental streak in you Chas, you know that?"
"What do you mean?"
"An exact replica?"
The younger of the two Supergirls shrugged. "I don't have your creativity, Lys...it was easier for me to make something I already knew."
They made their way through the house and to the front door, all the while seeing the minor changes made to the fortress since their last visit, nearing three local years* for most of them. (*There was a two year hiccup right after CW1...see Dichotomy Chpt. 1 for details) As they passed the kitchen, Cassie's eyes lit up.
"Hey, should we grab a bite to eat first? We don't know how long the journey is gonna be."
Batgirl shook her head as she opened the front door. "No, we really don't have the time. Plus, the Guardians are gonna transport us once we get off planet." But as she turned to exit the building, Batgirl froze in her track, a move the rest of them couldn't help but notice.
They all filed out and into the waiting courtyard which was filled with soldiers, all aiming a copy of the Linear Magnetic Accelerator carbine that Tony Stark had built off of a basic design handed to him by Chasity years ago. In the middle of the soldiers stood Raven, her arms crossed and waiting.
Raven waited until they were out of the fortress and well in the sights of the soldiers' weapons. "Chasity Hudson, you have been convicted in absentia of treason against the people of the Earth. You will immediately surrender. As for the rest, you are all under arrest for aiding and abetting this criminal. You too will surrender and be held for trial."
Before another word could be said from either side, a rush of jets came roaring through the buildings. A moment later a red and gold clad armored figure landed just in front of the women. Tony Stark whipped off his helmet.
"Holy crap!" he exclaimed as he extended his hand to Carrie, who took it gladly. "Carrie! Karen! Cassie! I'll be damned. It is great to see you all!"
"Hi, Tony," Karen said as she too shook Iron Man's hand. "It's been a while it seems."
He went over and clasped the Kryptonian hybrid's hand. "Wow, Chas. You look great. I actually thought they had killed you in that last battle."
She smiled. "I'm still going, Tony. How are you?"
"Well, the treaties aren't the best thing in the world for us, but it got most of the governments off our back."
Everyone stopped and looked up at the school as the bells rang, signaling the changing of classes. Mere seconds later a rush of students came pouring out of the building. Most were chatting amongst themselves or laughing, but every one of them froze as soon as they saw what was happening at the fortress, a mere hundred yards away.
Nobody spoke or moved.
"Mr. Stark, if you don't mind, I'm in the middle of an arrest here. Now either do your job and help or get out of the way."
Iron Man turned and faced his one-time foe turned semi-ally. He scanned the dozens of soldiers who, although well trained, had a curious tension about them. They knew this was a bad situation about to get worse. "Rachel...you want me..." he pointed at the girls behind him,"...to fight them? The people I fought beside to free the world from the Thans?"
"You're insane," he spat back with a hint of disgust. "I don't give a damn if Bradley does have a warrant. I'm not fighting them."
A voice called out from a nearby shadow as Batman made his presence known. "I will not fight them either."
Seeing that Rachel wasn't backing down, Tony threw up his hands and backed off beside Bruce. "Ladies, I'm sorry."
Cassie nodded. "It's okay, Tony," she grumbled before redirecting her attention to Raven. "You must know Raven that we..." but she was cut off.
"Cassie..." Alysa interrupted. "It's my job. I got this."
Wonder Girl turned to her sisters who were now hiding the fact that they were quite amused. As she did not know Alysa very well, she turned to the three Kryptonians who had all seen Batgirl in action before. Understanding, the young Amazon rocked back on her heels and just observed.
Alysa approached the black clad sorceress to within a few paces. Taking a non-aggressive stance, she carefully regulated her body language. "Ms. Roth, if you haven't guessed, I am Batgirl and the leader of the Sorority."
"I don't care who you are," Raven spat back and pointed to Chasity. "She is a convicted criminal here and will be executed for treason."
"Ms. Roth, I would appreciate it if you showed me the same courtesy I'm showing you," Batgirl berated, albeit calmly. "I need you to understand something here. The Sorority, to put it in terms you can grasp, is an interdimensional SWAT team. Our mandate dictates that we go where we must for the greater good of all. And the Portal that we use to go back and forth from this world is here, on this island granted to Supergirl by the lawful governor." Alysa half turned to face her team. "Is that not correct?"
A nod confirmed the question and Alysa turned back.
"So, we will be passing through here on occasion, and we don't want to be involved with this trouble again."
"Unacceptable!" Raven roared. "Our laws will be upheld. Justice will be done."
Batgirl rubbed her eyes, clearly frustrated at the direction the conversation was going. But she would try again. "Rachel, listen. We do not live here. We do not want to interfere unless ordered to. We wish to abide by your laws except when it prevents us from helping others. With that being said, I will not allow you to harm my teammate and my oldest friend."
"Who do you think you are?!" Raven sneered.
Karen couldn't hold it back. "Our leader?"
"The Princess of Europe?" Cassie added.
"Princess?" Carol asked incredulously.
Chasity waved her off. "Don't go there."
Alysa half turned again with a bemused glance. "Ladies!" she admonished before addressing Raven once again. "Sorry about that."
"I'm tired of debating you," Raven said in a huff. "Safeties!"
The clicks releasing dozens of weapon safeties silenced the girls.
Batgirl was no longer amused and no longer in the mood for petty games. With her team in potential danger, she quickly summed up the soldiers. There was no need to harm the rank and file men and women just there following orders. She looked at one of them who had his weapon trained on her. He was unnerved to say the least.
"Now then..." Raven started, but her words were instantly quelled by a hand from Alysa.
"I've tried being nice. I've tried being diplomatic. But all you want is a confrontation. So, allow me to enlighten you on something." Alysa took two steps forward, her icy stare locking onto the sorceress. "I am already sick and tired of your crap. If one hair on any of their heads is harmed, I am going to take one of those carbines and shove it so far up your ass that it will need to be surgically removed. And that is after I cut out your tongue out and force feed it to you. So are you going to bark, little doggy, or are you going to bite?"
Raven did not know how to react. She stood there, her mouth agape as her opponent stared her down, her muscles tensed and ready to pounce forward. She had little doubt that she could very well do what she threatened. And with no immediate backup coming, she was essentially alone. Raven tried to regain her composure, but found the woman just too unnerving.
"That's what I thought. You stink of fear," Alysa said before turning her back on her adversary. "Ladies, we have to go."
Tony and Bruce watched as the six women rose into the air and kept going until they could no longer be seen from the ground. Raven still stood rooted to the same spot, the authority and respect she had over the soldiers now a faded memory. Tony almost felt sorry for her.
"That was...interesting," Batman pondered, seeing some of his own tactics at work during the confrontation.
Tony nodded. "It was a hell of a bluff, I'll admit that."
“You’ve seen what most of those girls can do, Tony, and yet they made her leader!” Bruce turned and began walking back into the shadows. "Who said it was a bluff?"
Oaf, Two days later...
The skies were on fire.
The bodies of hundreds of Green Lanterns and the junked remains of thousands of Manhunters littered not only the orbit of Oa, but were strewn over the ground as well. Massive destruction was evident everywhere and the sounds of explosions and skirmishes could be heard from miles away. The ground rumbled with shockwaves and high above flashes of green could be seen.
Alysa paused for a moment in the shadow of a collapsed building to regain her breath. Although her cloaking field was active, the Manhunters had been lucky several times in guessing her location. She held her hand against the last blow she took, a hard backhand that impacted just under her right arm, straining the suit's ability to keep her unharmed. She could already feel the bruising, but at least the Manhunter hadn't broken a bone. With a quick application of anesthetic and a grimace of pain, Batgirl took off once again, determined to reform her team.
They had been scattered almost immediately upon arrival to Oa. Although unsure of what to expect, this was not it. It had been an all out attack on Oa itself by the Manhunters. Not just a few thousand, but the entire corps of both sides had been joined in an evenly matched battle for the better part of a week. The Guardians needed to turn the tide of battle, hence their request for assistance.
As Alysa raced along the nap of the ground, she tried yet again to contact any of her allies, but to no avail. She guessed that they were way too busy to answer. No. Not guessed. Hoped. Pouring on the speed, she dove under and through a falling spire, only to have every alert on her suit go off almost the same time.
A red metallic arm shot out of the ruins in an attempt to clothesline the young heroine. Batgirls well developed reflexes took over. She reached out and grabbed the arm as she flew by, and using her momentum, launched herself up and around the arm and planted both feet in the center of the Manhunters chest, caving the metal in. A quick stomp crushed its head and she took off again, only to have to avoid several blasts of energy from her left.
Cursing herself for not seeing the triad coming, Alysa engaged the targets, slicing the first through the middle with her energy blade before landing a perfectly thrown batarang into the face of another, blowing its head clean off. The third swung its staff, aiming to cripple the heroine, but was amazed as she ducked the blow. A quick backhand swipe took the machine's legs out from under it and a feminine fist drove it down, shattering its body.
Already Alysa could hear them coming. She turned and faced the next trio, who were already lining up their shots against her. Suddenly, a glowing golden rope settled over one and pulled taught, slicing it in half only to be followed up by a glittering red boot, smashing the robot to pieces.
Wonder Girl sheathed the Flashing Blade, a gift from Diana, into the second Manhunter as it swung on her. But the blow did not immediately stop it. A well placed uppercut sent the young Amazon sprawling, but as she fell, the sword completed its job and took the robots' arm with it, finally putting it down.
The third quickly closed on her, intent on finishing the job, only to be leveled by a flying kick to the side of its head, knocking it off. Alysa landed beside it and followed up with a double swing with her own blade, dismembering the behemoth. Satisfied, she turned to her teammate and offered her a hand.
"Cass, you okay?"
The young Amazon took the offered hand and rose to her feet. Brushing herself off, her relief was palatable. "Good to see ya, Lys. We were wondering where you got off to."
"I got caught up trying to help a pair of Lanterns stop a flanking maneuver a few hours ago. Have you seen any of the others?"
Cassie Sandsmark pointed towards the center of the battle. The hall that housed the Great Battery. "It's not good, Alysa. We've lost a lot of Lanterns and even the Guardians are starting to tire. They have been throwing even their personal reserves into the Battery and the occasional Lantern that makes it back to them. And I heard that there is this huge Manhunter covered in yellow armor that is in battle with Kilowog right now."
"Who do we have left? And is any of the team hurt?"
"One of them almost got Carol, but she wouldn't quit. She's up with Chasity fighting a battalion a few miles away. Last I saw they were doing okay. The Twins are working perimeter, trying to maintain a zone around the Battery."
On hearing that her team was still going strong, Alysa felt a great measure of relief. She may have been new to the job of leading these women, but it was still a job that she took very seriously. But right now, it wasn't the only people she felt a responsibility to. "How many Lanterns are left?"
Cassie's expression dropped and she glanced away for a moment. "They have been devastated, Lys. I can only verify that six are still alive."
"That's enough. We need to gather and end this."
"Come on," Batgirl said as she pointed to the Great Battery. "I have an idea."
It did not take long for them to marshal their forces. With Batgirl's reappearance on the battlefield, the Sorority rallied to her side along with the now five remaining Lanterns.
'You can't be serious!" Katma Tui hissed, trying to keep her voice down as not to attract undue attention. "You want me to lower the shields around the Battery? That's what they want!"
"Exactly." Batgirl was calm and collective, even in the face of this experienced Green Lantern. "Let's draw them in close. They have been picking you off because you did not concentrate your power. We need to deal a crippling blow before it's too late."
The monstrous living robot, Stel chimed in. "It is a good tactic Katma. Perhaps if we can take down that Manhunter Dreadnaught, and maybe enough of the normal ones, we can end this."
"But it's dangerous," Ke'Haan added.
"We're in a fight for our lives, here guys," Karen added quietly. "And not just yours. If the Corps falls today, then there is much worse to come."
The greatest of the Green Lanterns, the Daxamite known as Sodam Yat, sighed deeply. With much of the leadership and senior lanterns now gone, the few remaining looked on him as their defacto leader. He considered the ramifications of the plan for long moments before turning to the last of them.
"Jack...what do you think?"
Jack T. Chance was once only a probationary member of the Corps, the only person in all of Hellhole that they would trust with the power. And he was the only one of the Corps who was allowed to kill. It was only after years of battling the evil of his home planet that he became a fully fledged member, and their most ruthless one at that. Jack adjusted his signature trench coat before ducking down, staying out of sight of a passing Manhunter.
"I wanna kill these bastards pretty bad, Sodam. We've lost a lot of good friends over the last few days. And with the girls' help..." he gestured to the members of the Sorority. "...we are pushing them back. But attrition has taken its toll. I don't think we can win without something like this."
It seemed though he was the least experienced of the five, even Jack's words were well received. Stel hummed his agreeance and Ke'Haan clasped the shoulder of his one-time student with pride.
Sodam Yat agreed. "Then let's show em why you don't mess with the Corps. Ladies, don't let us down."
Alysa took the responsibility in stride. "Okay. Here's what we do..."
The Manhunter Dreadnaught turned its attention. Had it just sensed that? Activating its full scanners, the great robot began walking towards the center of the great megalopolis of Oa, the path to the Great Battery now clear.
"Rally to me brothers!" it bellowed. "Our time of triumph is at hand! Death to the Guardians!"
Within minutes the skies around the sixty foot robot were filled with the remaining Manhunters, as they flew towards their goal. As they approached, their satisfaction grew. Only two lanterns still stood, the woman known as Katma Tui, and the man known as Jack T. Chance. Both stood side by side, their rings emitting a shield of solid light surrounding the Battery.
"Keep it going, Jack!" she yelled as the Manhunters approached for the final blow. They stood defiantly in the face of a hundred Manhunters.
"Spare yourselves the humiliation, Lanterns. You know you cannot win."
"We've only got one thing to say to you," Jack grinned. He broke off the shield and lanced out with his ring, tearing through the remaining Manhunters. "In Brightest Day!"
From the ruins behind them another lance cut in, slicing apart even more robots. Ke'Haan emerged. "In Darkest Night!"
Katma joined in, blasting more of their red, mechanical enemies to bits. "No evil shall escape our sight!"
Suddenly, A pair of white and blue streaks raced from above as Supergirl and Powergirl each grabbed a wrist of the Dreadnaught, forcing it to the ground. Leaping from atop a building, Wonder Girl's lasso looped around its neck, forcing its head back. A pair of batarangs impacted on the great machine's legs, blowing holes in the yellow armor and bringing it down to its knees.
Floating in from behind Jack and Katma, Sodam Yat took aim at the last of the Manhunters and tore them to shreds. "Let those who worship evil's might!"
Warbird tore into the battle, impacting the side of the dreadnaughts' head, tearing the yellow armor plate from it, while at the same time, Chasity suddenly appeared from beneath the ground, and at supersonic speeds, tore right through the chest armor, leaving the innards of the last Manhunter exposed.
Finally, Stel approached the held Dreadnaught. He raised his ring and pointed it right at the machine's head. "Beware MY power, Green Lantern's Light!"
The beam neatly sliced the last of their enemies to shreds.
The few remaining Lanterns and the present members of the Sorority practically collapsed in the shadow of the Great Battery. They could all see many of the Guardians themselves lying down and resting, having given much of their personal power to fuel the power needed for Corps' rings. Damage was everywhere, but outside it was quiet. The battle was finally over.
Ganthet floated over to the eleven combatants, silently directing them to a section of the room that was mostly intact. When they had all found a semi-comfortable spot, he finally spoke.
"I must apologize. The other Guardians and I did not see this event until it was too late to stop it."
Ke'Haan bowed to their masters. "Guardian, we have succeeded in ending the Manhunter threat permanently."
The red clad, blue skinned Oan looked downtrodden. "But at too high a cost. You are all that remains of our illustrious Corps in the universe. It will be many years before we are a capable force of justice again."
"Will you be able to rebuild, Guardian?" Carrie Zor El-Dox asked, the concern for them apparent. "I do not know what the future holds for us, but if we are needed to meet out justice here, do not hesitate to call."
Karen agreed. "If at all possible, we will be here."
"You offer is comforting, Kryptonian," Ganthet replied.
Jack T. Chance chuckled and gave Cassie's shoulder a hearty slap. "And you ladies sure know how to kick some ass. That's for sure."
"He is correct," Sodam Yat added. "I have a feeling that the few of us that remain will be relegated to training the new recruits. With the loss of Kilowog, I think Ke'Haan will need to step up."
"So I shall. In honor of my friend."
Ganthet turned to Alysa, who was sitting against a wall favoring her side. "Ms. Wayne. You have proven to be one of the most capable humans we have ever encountered. With the death of our human agent, Hipkarma, the Guardians would like to offer you her ring first."
The eyes of the Sorority went wide. Many of them had known Green Lanterns and the Guardians before, but it was a rarity to see such an offer. Benjamin Hudson, the man who raised Chasity like his own daughter, had once been offered his ring back after retiring from the Corps. But he chose to pass it onto his son, Heath, instead.
Alysa winced at the pain in her side, but finally shook her head negatively. "Guardian, I appreciate the offer. I really do. But as you know, the Sorority's mandate is in a larger scope than the Green Lantern Corps. And these women chose me to lead them; a role I take as my true purpose."
Ganthet smiled. "I knew your answer already, Ms. Wayne. But that offer will stand if you should ever change your mind." He turned to the rest of the Sorority. "And do not think that we find her the only one worthy. You each have proven your worth to the cause of justice."
"Thank you, Guardian."
"We have much rebuilding to do. Do you wish to leave immediately or would you prefer to rest first? I know the troubles your friends and families are involved with and I sense that they will need you with them soon enough."
For the first time in the conversation, Chasity spoke up. "Actually, yes Guardian. We do need some rest."
Karen nodded before turning to their leader. "I concur. Although most of us are generally unharmed, it seems our leader is more banged up than she wants to let on."
"Girls, we are going to have..." Batgirl said, her words strained with pain.
Chasity gave her a nasty look. "Shush! I don't care if you're the leader or not. Jade isn't here to patch you back together, and it seems your suit may be out of painkillers."
"For now. I will be fine until we..." But again she was cut off, this time by Warbird.
"Shush! It's high time we started looking after you, Alysa."
Batgirl was getting a bit irked. She opened her mouth to protest again only to be cut off before she could get a word in edgewise. Karen and Carrie stood over her with hands on their hips.
"Shush!" they said in two part harmony.
Ganthet's tired eyes betrayed his amusement. He had seen loyalty in many forms in his long life and this was no exception. He knew eventually that they, as a team, would eventually rival any other to come before or after, simply because of the bond they all shared. As he began to float away, he called back over his shoulder.
"Lanterns, get some rest as well. Temporary quarters are available in the archives."
Without further ado, the five Lanterns rose and with little flourish, said their goodbye's to the young women. They shuffled off, as tired as they all looked, leaving the women alone.
They all turned to their leader, who still sat nursing her ribs.
"Okay, Lys," Carrie said. "Take it off."
"The suit. We can't see through it, and we know you're hurt. Take it off so we can assess the damage."
Seeing that she was in a no-win situation, Batgirl resigned to her teammates and rose to her feet, grimacing. Pulling the cowl from her face and back over her head, she silently willed the suit to depower, an upgrade Karen suggested after she had told the Twins of her unmasking at the hands of a mercenary.
"I'm gonna need some help," she said, attempting to reach back and unclasp the molecular locks running down her spine. With a bit of help, the rest of the team peeled the top half of the suit to her waist, leaving her in a form fitting t-shirt. When they finally exposed her ribs, the girls grimaced.
"Damn Alysa, you got knocked hard," Karen said, x-raying the wound. "Nothing's broken though."
"I knew that. The suit's heads up display told me. What's the soft tissue damage?"
"I've had worse."
Without really meaning to, Carrie took a long look at their leader. "Alysa, I have to ask. You are sculpted better than a professional athlete. Do I even want to know what it took to get to the point you're at?"
"I started hard training at about three years old. And you can ask Chas. When we weren't out chasing down Luthor's meta-thugs, what was I doing?"
"Working out or combat training," her best friend replied.
"That's, what? Twenty years solid?" Carol mused. "For a Princess, it doesn't seem like you had much time for a social life."
"Ever since I could walk it was physical training, martial arts, private tutors, criminalistics, wash, rinse, repeat."
"Have you ever tried just sitting back and relaxing?"
"I did. With Heath."
The other five women paused all movement and simply stared at the Dark Knight Damsel. She had never before mentioned anything about her relationship with Chasity's half-brother. They had always figured that he had meant something more to her than just a passing fling. Like Bruce Wayne of many different dimensions, Alysa was always in control of herself. She hardly ever showed her hand like that.
"Lys..." Chas said softly, breaking the ice. "I...um,"
"Don't worry about it girls," their leader answered, embarrassed. "I didn't mean to bring that up. My mind drifted. Must be the pain."
At that note, Karen perked up from a closer x-ray of the wound. "That reminds me. Did I see you pulling a Dos' Thiek counter against a Manhunter?"
"What's that?" Carol asked.
"It's a Koh-Re counterstrike."
The statement caught Chasity's off guard as she faced her friend. "Wait, what? You know Koh-Re?"
"Of course, Chas. Zal taught me."
"How the hell?" the Otherverse Supergirl pondered incredulously. "We were only around them for like a day."
Sighing at having to do an explanation, Alysa explained herself. "You know Zal was a master of Koh-Re, yes?"
Chasity nodded. "Yeah, he even taught some stuff to Kara and Rogue, not to mention my cousins here."
"Right. Don't you think he ever wrote it all down?"
Alysa gave her a knowing look. "His original manuscript was kept in the castle vaults."
Carrie grinned and began to wrap Alysa's ribs. "Yeah, girl. We figured that out when I saw her pull a move that I had only seen Zal do." Supergirl paused in her ministrations to face their leader. "How many martial arts do you know again?"
"I'm the equivalent of a black belt or higher in forty seven styles. I have a working knowledge of about a hundred more."
"Sheesh,” Cassie grunted. "And I thought Diana knew her stuff."
"She does. We have sparred and she is...not someone I want to face.
Quickly changing the subject, Chasity fingered the multi-layered armor of Batgirl's suit. "How long until you can generate those nanites you heal with?"
"I'm running low on raw materials," Batgirl said. "Haven't had access to my stores since I left Otherverse."
"What about power?" Carol asked. "I've never seen you recharge."
Now that Carrie had finished applying a pressure bandage, Alysa began to pull the suit back onto her. "I will never need to recharge. Microscopic alpha-decay reactors are built into one layer."
Warbird was many things, but a technical minded person she was not. She curled her nose in confusion. "What's that?"
"Essentially you take a radioactive material and surround it with a reactant," Karen explained. "And then around that a material that captures the resultant power. It's more complex than that, but I don't want to bore you with details."
"Okay, that's fine," Carol responded, understanding. "So you have like little pieces of plutonium built into your suit?"
Alysa smiled and shook her head. "No, plutonium is just too unstable. This was designed to utilize Kryptonite. Originally just some Green K that Bruce used to power the castle way back in the day, but when I started my career, the Vision and I added Blue K to the mix."
"Really? Isn't that a bit dangerous considering the company we keep?"
"Nah, we probably wouldn't even feel it," Powergirl said as she helped Alysa back into the suit. "Like really tiny amounts."
"But why add the Blue K?"
Alysa pointed at Chasity as she adjusted the fit of the suit around her. "Because of her. My first mission was to get close and keep an eye on her and Clark and take them out if they proved to be a menace. I can project that radiation if I needed to."
"I would prefer if you didn't," Chasity quipped as she helped reseal the molecular locks along her friend’s back.
The Twins' echoed the sentiment in tandem. "Ditto."
Alysa smirked as she pulled the cowl back over her head and locked it into place. "Well, as long as you don't go off and get corrupted by some 'shard' of a Great Battery, I shouldn't need to."
The three Kryptonians each gave her a sidelong glance but chose not to respond.
"Anyway, if you ladies are done undressing me, we do need some sleep. I'm sure we have a lot more work ahead of us back in Multiverse."
The Rock, Mindemoya Island, the next morning...
A loud clap and a bolt of green lighting echoed across the Rock as the six women were deposited at the edge of the water. Once gaining their bearings, they walked side by side along the shore, approaching the main house from the east, in plain view. At least this time there were no soldiers waiting on them and no alarms were going off.
But the one thing that caught every one of their eyes was the uniquely clad Kryptonian that met them in the middle of the memorial gardens. A half-breed himself, Jon Kent was truly his fathers' image. Tall, lean but well built with midnight tresses and a smile that could met a woman's heart in moments. He had apparently been speaking with Kaen, the metahuman known as Apollo as the women approached.
"I'll be damned..." Sentry whispered, transfixed as they closed distance. The lot of them just stared for a long second before instinctively, they joined in a group hug. "It's so good to see you guys."
"Jon, you have no idea," Cassie said, her voice caught in her throat.
When they broke, Karen stayed close, running her fingers along the area of his chest where the Thanagarian sword had killed him. "Are...are you okay?"
Sentry shrugged. "I know what you're about to ask, but really, it was like a dream. I can't exactly explain it."
Glancing back at her twin, Karen reached up and wrapped her arms around his neck. "Jon...we...we never got a chance to thank you for saving our lives."
"You don't have to..."
Carrie cut him off. "Yes. Yes we do. You...gave your life for ours. I don't even know how to thank you for that."
"It was the chivalrous thing to do."
After a few more pleasantries between the Man of Steel and Warbird, he turned his attention to his onetime counterpart, Chasity. He studied her for a moment. "One of these days, we are really going to need a long talk, Chas."
She nodded. "Yeah, I know."
"In the meantime, I heard you made a mess."
"I heard you're cleaning it up."
"It's not as bad as you would think, really."
Chasity motioned to a point behind him. "Then why is Raven coming back over here to try and arrest me again?"
All eyes turned in that direction, and sure enough, the black clad sorceress was approaching, albeit without soldiers. Several grumbles and sighs were heard in the small group, but the activity was nowhere near over. Also walking calmly towards them were many of the students and faculty of the school, a few civilians, Tony and Kitty, Bruce Wayne and Steve Rogers and a few others. None seemed to be on the offensive and the only one technically armed was Steve, as his shield was strapped to his back.
They all waited in anticipation until the crowd had approached, and even then they kept their distance for the moment as Raven again confronted them.
The young sorceress stood by, the contempt in her eyes as Alysa broke from the pack and intercepted her.
"I told you once, Rachel. You don't want to do this," Batgirl warned, taking the same tone as she did days ago.
"This isn't over. You may have an advantage now, but the law will be upheld. It is our resposib...." Raven let the sentence die on her lips as she saw her adversary no longer paying attention to her. Alysa's eyes had darted off over to the right, followed quickly in the other direction.
Batgirl looked very carefully around her. Had she just seen that? For a moment it seemed that something had moved. Then out of her peripheral vision, she caught another shadow move. Were her eyes playing tricks on her?
A rolling echo of thunder rolled across the island, a dark line of clouds approaching, the winds just beginning to pick up. The moisture could be felt indicating rain was coming. But something didn't feel right.
There it was again! Alysa reached up and activated the digital optics built into the cowl. Nothing.
"Excuse me," Raven snarled. "I thought we..."
"For once, just shut up for a minute." Alysa hissed, trying to identify the growing threat. But it wasn't going away. In fact, the feeling was only getting stronger. Instinct kicked in and she rapidly raised her closed fist, signaling to her team.
The rest of the Sorority tensed, with Cassie even drawing her blade. "What? What is it?" she asked.
Without verbally answering, Alysa's fist opened with determination, flingers splayed, signaling to her team to high alert. She had learned long ago to trust that feeling of danger when it presented itself.
When the women took to the sky and spread out in a semicircle facing outwards, the rest of the assembled metahumans began to look around. The low din of hushed conversation didn't last long.
The line of clouds approaching then came on strong and fast, all eyes upon the darkening skies. Was this an unnatural weather pattern? The answer came quickly. The dark mass broke before their eyes into thousands, maybe millions of pieces and began to rapidly spread across the sky.
Alysa stood almost transfixed to the spot as she finally identified the mass. Shadow Warriors. Her eyes went as wide as saucers along with the rest of her team's as they all realized the danger. She whispered just loud enough for Raven to hear. "Oh...shit."
"No, no, NO!" Raven screamed as she began forming spells, her attention no longer on the Sorority.
Thousands of warriors swarmed the Rock, and the battle had joined.
An hour later...
"Carrie! Look out!"
The blue clad Supergirl banked hard, lashing out with her heat vision, cutting deeply into a Shadow Warrior. But there was simply too many. Even in the air at her speeds, she was swarmed, one warrior pinning an arm while another latched its arms around her neck, both hitting her with blasts of Darkforce energy.
Just as another wrapped itself around her legs, the sound of ringing metal rang true and the one around her neck was sliced in two.
Cassie spun on the spot, engaging a dozen more warriors as they charged her. Dark lines shot out, but most were deflected away by the Amazon's bracelets. But several more hit the young woman, eliciting a cry of pain. Ignoring the damage, she plowed through them, trying to defend a small area where some of the others might get a measure of relief.
But Chasity already knew better. With her tremendous speed, the black clad Supergirl raced around the island, trying desperately to intercept the Shadow Warriors as they rushed in from all directions. The students were fighting for their lives, but even now she could see many of them laying on the ground, unbreathing and unmoving.
Landing next to Jean Grey, the Headmaster of the Academy, she tore through a pair of warriors trying to flank her.
"Jean! Try to get the students to the...AUGHH!!" Chasity was blasted from behind by several warriors, driving her into the main part of the school.
Karen, aka Powergirl stood back to back with Sentry, both blasting as many combatants as they could. But for every beam of heat vision going out, dozens of darkforce beams were returned. As she fought off another, Karen was blown to the ground, Sentry atop her. Rolling him over, she was aghast to see a hole blown through his leg.
"I'll heal! There's more coming!" he said, rising into the air, adding his strength back to the fight,
Of all the members of the Sorority, it seemed that Carol Danvers was doing the best. She was doing wide circles around the gardens, engaging as many warriors as she could. Her energy blasts seemed to hurt them the worst, and although the return blasts were obviously affecting her, they were not enough to stop her. Warbird tore through many more, but as she banked hard to get hold of another, she stopped in horror as she saw several warriors literally rip Sue Storm to pieces.
"NO!" she screamed and charged the murderous trio.
On the other side of the compound, despite the pain that she was still in, Batgirl fought like a wounded lioness. She dodged one beam, and went through a warrior and used him as a shield for the second and third. But the fourth was a bit luckier. Blindsided by it, Alysa let out a small gasp of pain as it flung her like a ragdoll against the side of the mansion.
But it wasn't enough pain for her to lose concentration. A pair of batarangs reached out and touched each of the warriors, exploding in a brilliant flash of white light and searing heat. Several seconds later and that threat was gone. But there were still a million more where those came from.
Flipping herself to the top of the roof, Batgirl surveyed the situation.
Logan was fighting tooth and nail alongside Katherine Stark, but in a flash of dark light, Kitty fell, landing atop the tangled remains of Emma Frost. Alysa had experience fighting someone using darkforce before. Even phased, Chasity had been severely hurt by Bobby Wallace's attacks. Fortunately Tony did not see his wife fall for he had his own troubles. Surrounded by dozens of warriors, he kept blasting away, trying to draw some of the warriors away from the students. Most of the younger students had already been killed, their bodies laying all over the compound, From this vantage point, Alysa could only identify a very few left.
Much to her chagrin, she glanced behind her and saw another gruesome sight. Although there was a pile of at least thirty to forty Shadow Warriors, the Bruce Wayne of Wasteland lay in a bloody heap. What was even more amazing to her was nearby to his body was that of Bruce Banner. It seemed that even the Hulk's legendary toughness was no match against that many darkforce wielders.
Her instincts went into high gear. Twisting in an awesome display of acrobatics, Batgirl slipped in between two charging warriors and neatly cut them both in half with her energy blade. Keeping with the momentum, she leapt off the roof and planted both feet into a warrior taking aim at Wonder Girl.
"Cassie! We gotta make a perimeter! They're dropping us like flies!"
The Amazon punched another warrior hard, cratering its head. "Against this?!"
"What else can we do?"
Another bolt of darkforce lashed out, bringing the Amazon to her knees. Several warriors piled on, pouring their energy into her, eliciting cries of anguish and pain. But even before Batgirl could lend assistance, it came racing in the form of Karen, slicing away two of her attackers and kicking another so hard he nearly exploded.
"Guys! We're in deep trouble!" she cried as she helped Cassie to her feet. "Steve's dead! Sand and Seraphim have fallen and the shadow warriors took Raven."
"What do you mean they took her?" Cassie asked as she lassoed several more, cutting them in pieces with the Flashing Blade. "They aren't giving quarter and don't seem to be taking prisoners!"
With a cry of absolute agony came through the din of battle, all three of the women paused. They knew that voice. Looking up, they could see a blue clad woman falling from the sky. She was obviously unconscious, but, was caught by Iron Man, who promptly got smashed from the side, and both of them fell in a heap.
"Carrie! Tony!" Karen screamed as she tried to make her way over to them. But it was not to be. Even with her tremendous strength, she was unable to just break through the battle. Several warriors hit her almost point blank with darkforce beams, but were soon torn apart by the white-clad Kryptonian. But even then more and more focused their attacks on Powergirl, keeping her from reaching her sister.
A clap of thunder echoed through the battle, and in what seemed to be slow motion, Alysa saw Chasity slam the ground as hard as she could, throwing Shadow Warriors back thirty yards. It was followed up immediately by not only hers, but Sentry's heat vision as well. In one fell swoop, they had created a small lull.
"Chas! Keep em away! We rally to you!"
"Got it!" Supergirl cried out, this time slamming her hands together creating a shockwave, keeping many of the darkforce welders at bay.
"Everyone! Fall back to the mansion!" Batgirl cried as she cloaked and went straight to the point where Carrie had fallen. Slicing through several more as she went, Alysa finally made it to her friend’s side. But as she rolled the armored form of Iron Man off, she saw a horrible sight. The blast had torn a hole right though Tony's chest.
But there would only be time for mourning later, assuming any of them would live through the battle. Doing a quick scan, Alysa saw the fist sized chunk taken out of Carrie's back, but at least she was healing. Picking her up, Batgirl made a mad dash for the mansion’s front doors, but didn't make it.
A beam of darkforce lashed out and caught her in the side of the head, tearing consciousness from the Princess of Europe. She crumpled to the ground.
Chasity was none too happy as she watched her cousin, obviously being carried by a cloaked and invisible Batgirl, stumble and fall, dumping her counterpart namesake on the ground. A moment later and Alysa faded into view, laying face down.
A light rain began to fall building to a symphony of raindrops on everything.
But the Shadow Warriors were absolutely relentless. The heroes of this Wasteland had made a great showing of themselves, but it was now clear to the Kryptonian hybrid-mutant that this was a losing battle. They may have killed hundreds, maybe thousands of these warriors, but their numbers were endless. It was like they hadn't even made a dent.
They were all going to die.
Gritting her teeth at the possibility, Chasity put the thought from her mind. Thinking like that would only get in the way. "Cassie! Ricochet!"
The blonde Amazon finished slicing though another warrior and sheathed her sword, twisting on the air just as a pair of tight beams of heat vision bounced themselves off of her bracelets. At full power and deflected in two directions at once, the two women once again cleared a circle around their fallen comrades.
Warbird soon followed and brought several others with her. Several students had fought their way to the makeshift perimeter and now fought with everything they had, just to try and keep the warriors at bay.
It wasn't working.
Although the bodies of the Shadow warriors piled up, there seemed to be no hope at all. And still they kept coming.
Sentry grabbed Chasity by the shoulders and spun her around. She could tell that he was seriously injured, but no more than she was. They had all taken hit after hit, with many of them drawing blood. "Remember your prison break?! Do it! I'll draw their fire!"
"Do it!"The half -Kryptonian hero known as Sentry shot into the sky, followed by hundreds of the soldiers. A moment later, they fell to a massive blast of heat vision that narrowed and yet again gave them a second or two of breathing room.
Grabbing as many people as she could, Chasity brought everyone she could gather to a single point. "Everyone! Hold on to each other!" A blast of darkforce nearly spun the Kryptonian hybrid mutant, but Karen stepped up and retaliated against her attacker, knocking it out of the fight. At the last second before they were rushed, she phased and allowed gravity to do its work, plunging them all into the ground, much to their allies’ surprise.
Moments later, they all landed at the base of the shaft and Chasity unphased them all and promptly collapsed.
"Chas!" Carol yelled and ran to her friend’s side.
The black clad Supergirl held up a hand which Warbird promptly took and helped her up. "That was almost too much. Never tried to phase that much before."
Before anyone could answer, they all looked up. Sunlight now streamed from high above, the shadows having torn the mansion to pieces to get to them. It would be only moments before the battle would rejoin.
Karen looked around at who was there with them. Although Carrie and Alysa were alive they were both out of action for the moment. A male student that she did not recognize stood beside them, chanting something under his breath. Another male student, this one more familiar, sat stunned on the ground holding a young woman she recognized as Zatanna. She was covered in blood from a head wound that was no longer bleeding; her lifeless eyes staring at him.
The young man known here as Flash didn't respond. He just sat there staring ahead, not even flinching when the rush of shadow warriors could be heard above. With a quick x-ray, Karen confirmed her suspicions. His spine had been shattered and his spleen ruptured. There was little that could be done now. But it mattered little. Her eyes lifted to the shaft above them. A thousand warriors descended upon them.
But then a blinding mystic emerald fire shone down the shaft, a light that disintegrated screaming shadow demons, as it approached. An emotionally-charged yell echoed down the shaft.
"No! I have had enough of you!"As the brilliance of the light became almost blinding, the shadow warriors’ screams of agony became deafening as those that survived were forced to flee the vicinity. The little group at the bottom of the shaft heard sorrow and regret in the voice as it spoke again. “Aw…damn…so many people just…murdered…and for what? ...so, so many.”
And then there was nothing but silence on the island…only the slight whistle of the wind. They knew the shadow warriors would soon mass for a counter-offensive, but the Starheart-powered Sentinel had bought them the precious gift of time. They gazed up as Jade descended with an unconscious woman on a platform behind her, Jade’s eyes glowing strangely red.
"Linda!" they all cried in unison.
"Hold on! I gotta get you people outta here!" she exclaimed as she began to concentrate, willing a boom-tube to take them to the entrance to the Great Portal. She lifted each of them gently onto her glowing platform, willing healing emerald energy to surround each of them.
Several green flashes of light later, the survivors found themselves in familiar ground, back in the infirmary of the Rock of Eternity. Carol immediately collapsed to the floor, finally allowing herself to surrender to fatigue. Karen instantly rushed to Carrie’s side. Supergirl was still out, but at least had begun to heal the damage.
Wonder Girl found a chair and sat down, breathing heavily and not really paying attention to anything at the moment. She was still freely bleeding from many impacts of darkforce.
An exhausted Chasity Hudson picked up Alysa's limp form and placed her on a nearby table. She gently turned her head to the side and was impressed at the lack of physical damage. Seeing as how she had just witnessed these blasts go through people easily, she breathed a sigh of relief when she realized that the suit's defenses had done its job.
But that didn't really help her look after her friend. "Motherboard! Are you linked with Alysa's suit?"
"Unlock her mask seal!"
"Batgirl has stated that unless it's an emergency..."
"It IS an emergency and everyone here knows who she is anyway!"
A brief pause. "Seal unlocked."
Chasity wasted no time in pulling the mask back from Alysa's face. A burst of x-rays told the story. Alysa must have a harder head than Chasity thought. Just a mild concussion and some more soft tissue damage. Without the suit, the blast may have taken her head clean off.
Turning to the rest of the survivors, the young Kryptonian was immediately aghast. Her teammates were all here, but other than that, only a single male student, leaning against a wall, was present. Not even Jon Kent had been rescued with them.
"No!" she screamed as she rounded on Jade, who leaned over her companion, her worry evident. "Dammit, Linda!"
"W,what?" Linda’s now green eyes turned to look at her.
Chasity rushed up and grabbed her by the shoulders. "God Damn You, Linda! Why?! Why didn't you get everyone out?!"
Linda didn't look her friend in the eye at first, but focused on a point behind her as she tried to answer calmly. Finally, she met the Kryptonian's gaze. "Chasity...I scanned the entire island. I got there too late. No one else was still alive."
The words broke the young woman, but she wasn't the only one. The flood of emotion washed over the Sorority like acid being poured into their wounds. The survivors all froze in shock at the implications while Linda sent a signal to Kent’s monitoring station just before turning back to tend her other passenger.
“Mama?” Linda comforted a tall woman who, except for her blue skin, looked like Linda and looked even more like her sister.
“Feeling better, now that I’m out of Qward,” Linda’s mother, Molly Scott, responded weakly. “I thought I saw an island full of people, all dead…” She forced herself to sit up.
Then Diana of Themyscira entered the room, with Kent and Dick in tow.
Chasity let go of Alysa and shuffled over to her boyfriend. She collapsed to her knees as her emotions finally broke. Wisely, Richard said nothing but held her tight while his gaze settled on the rest.
"What the hell just happened?!" Diana spouted as she began triage on the group.
"Nekron blind-sided us,” Linda explained..“Somehow, he’s teamed with the Anti-Monitor in Qward. They got millions and millions of shadow warriors."
All eyes turned to Jade.
"Kent had tasked my Mom, Molly Scott Kyle, to hide me in her shadow form and follow the shadow warriors he found in another universe to their source. We wound up in a negative matter universe that is part of Qward.”
“Being near Nekron activated powers I didn’t know I had,” Molly added. “They destabilized my shadow powers, which attracted his attention. We had to fight him in Qward…lost pretty quickly.”
“Mama took damage,” Linda added. “We got out of Qward by following his Shadow Warriors to Wasteland. They were spreading out across the entire universe. Didn’t know it was Wasteland until I got there and sensed the Great Portal Starheart.” Linda shook her head sadly. “Even with all my power, I couldn’t do much. Oa was already gone…my Oan ring didn’t pick up the great battery, but it did download everything the main Oan systems could send it. I sensed no life, and the comms were almost completely out. Nekron popped his ugly head through the portal, so we boom-tubed to Earth. Got your distress call and headed to you."
Cassie tried to stand, feeling strengthened as Linda bathed her in a healing aura. "What happened?!" she yelled. "Millions, Kent! Millions of them!" her pain-filled rage hung heavy in the room. "How many did we just lose?!"
Kent Nelson reached down and brought Carrie back to consciousness with a quick spell before turning his attention to Alysa. "It wasn't just Earth. Rann...Thanagar...ZennLa....Oa...Daxam...even Hellhole. They were all hit simultaneously by billions of Shadow Warriors."
The Shazam Wizard shook his head. "There....there isn't anyone left. Nobody that can stop them now."
"What do you mean?"
To be Continued……..
-- Story written and copyrighted (C) 2014 by Jake H.
-- and may not be reprinted without permission.
-- The Continuum Worlds Concept is a joint creation of
-- Dylan Clearbrook and Eldric.
-- Otherverse, Multiverse, Primalverse. and Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes,
-- as depicted in the Continuum Worlds, are original creations of Dylan Clearbrook.
-- Alterverse, The Inheritors and Rising Starr, as depicted in the Continuum Worlds,
-- are original creations of Eldric.
-- Wasteland, The Sorority, and Otherverse 2.0, as depicted in the Continuum Worlds
-- are original creations of Nomad (Jake H.).
-- The Realm and The Web of Shadows, as depicted in the Continuum Worlds,
-- are original creations of John P. and Jason G./ Andrew Shields respectively.
-- DCM: The Merging, as depicted in the Continuum Worlds,
-- is an original creation of Chip Caroon and the stories therein remain
-- the property of the respective writers.
-- Some characters in Continuum Worlds stories are original creations
-- of Dylan Clearbrook, Eldric, Michael Liebhart, Jake H., Jason G.,
-- Andrew Shields, Kyle M., Brian, John P., DTO, or Jason Froikin and may not
-- be used without express permission of the respective author.
-- All DC characters are property of D.C. Comics.
-- All Marvel characters are property of Marvel Comics.