Book 1 Sentinels over Gotham
Marvel DC Crossover
Book 1 Sentinels Over Gotham
It took Amara a few moments to wrap her head around what had just happened. So much was new for her already ever since leaving her home in Nova Roma. Her home was safe and the world had not changed very much in her lifetime. In truth, Nova Roma had not changed very much technology wise since the Roman Empire. It had done everything it could to avoid outside interference but it could not keep this up forever. Up until recently only one of their member left and returned to the hidden colony at will and even without anyone realizing, Amara was the first that the Colony knowingly let go. Of course, Amara was also the first mutant who had ever been born in the colony and while the citizens were fond of her they did had no idea how to help her with her powers to use them safely. Amara knew her powers were dangerous to her family and her people; she could at any point generate tremendous heat like that of a volcano. Identical to the volcano she fell into when she had first meet the New Mutants, in fact. In those brief seconds of falling she was so certain she was going to die only to splash into the magma of the volcano as if it were water.
She had climbed out of the volcano and made her way into the temple watching as she left fire laced footprints in the tiles melting them with each step. She remembered how she talked to her friends about glowing after certain activities but this was something different. What she could see of her body was glowing as if it were flame itself but solid lightning up the temple far brighter than if it had been outside and noon. Her clothing was burned completely off and she dreaded to see what her face looked like in the mirror, she was surprised the light her body emitted didn’t blind her but the shock only continued. Her hair which was already bright blonde seemed more so with fire laced through the strands creating a flickering highlight effect. Her eyes changed to a circulating yellow and red combination the pupils seemed like dark rubies that flickered with light. That seemed so long ago.
If she left her emotions to take control over here that change would happen now again after waking up. She knew she wasn’t in her magma form but she could tell she had been in it recently otherwise she would not be wearing her uniform. Professor X had informed her that it would surround her when her powers activated and she was thankful they didn’t seem to activate for very long although wherever she was it reminded her of a trash pile. She could see the water from her location and could smell the scent of seafood, a harbor. This was not the X-mansion or anywhere near it. She took a few deep breaths attempting to get her emotions into check, the last thing she needed would be to start burning everything around her and it seemed to help until she heard a voice from behind her.
“Alice, my dear, that outfit simply does nothing for you.”
Amara stood in the center of an alley one side emptying towards the water the other side towards a road with a factory on the other side. Between her and the road stood a strange man, maybe only an inch taller than she was wearing a bright green suit with a very bright red and white bow the top hat making him seem a bit taller but he reminded Amara of a mole in human form. The look in his eyes was what chilled her to the bone, he looked insane. As he turned to look back towards the road she could see a sign on his hat reading “In this style 10/6” and could only think of how insane the situation was.
“No, that outfit simply will not do. You’ll have to remove it and put on something more appropriate.”
The ground shook with his first step towards her and she could see he was flanked by two thugs and while she was still terrified of the situation at least those thugs made sense to her. The Man in the green outfit and the thugs looked in shock as if they hadn’t expected an earthquake and even this surprised Amara who actually did know her powers. She was losing control, fear and everything that had just happened in the last few moments caught up with her and the ground shook again this time harder and she could feel herself light up.
“She’s a meta.” One of the thugs shouted and brought up a strange black metallic object that Amara didn’t recognize pointing it at her. Just as her hair erupted into flames the two thugs fired their guns at her aiming at her chest. She could feel something hitting her stomach and chest, several somethings and knew that they were metal. The ground shook again as she looked towards her stomach which was now covered in a mass of melted brass and lead as the bullets melted on impact. The impacts stopped and for a moment all she could hear was a gurgling sound coming from where the thugs were, she looked up to see them clutching their throats while the man in the green suit cleaned off a knife he had pulled out of somewhere.
“Where are my manners? I tell you that it is very hard to get good help these days. I shall have to file a complaint and perhaps maybe next time I might hire professionals instead of this rabble. To think my proper employees should be away on such a momentous occasion, Alice. I wanted to great you properly, but what is a person to do in such a situation. I am however happy to know you are healthy… you are positively glowing. To be honest, however, we cannot have that, Alice.”
Amara was about to do something very violent to the short crazy man when her body suddenly wouldn’t work properly. A man shorter than the crazy man in the top hat walked from behind her towards the crazy man addressing him as the Mad Hatter. The voices seemed distant but this Mad Hatter who had killed those two thugs called the shorter man Dormouse which seemed strange. It seemed like one of those strange stories that Kitty would tell Illyana. She was helpless to resist as the Mad Hatter ordered her to stop glowing and to stand there.
The Dormouse brought a dress with him when he returned to the alley and despite all of Amara’s willpower, she couldn’t fight back against whatever the little man did to her to resist just standing there helpless. The Dormouse held the dress up to her while the Mad Hatter brought a mirror up high enough for Amara to look into asking how she looked. It was then she could see it, a small tiara nestled on her head partially melted into her hair but apparently still functioning. What kind of device could control another person like that? She found herself smiling at the insane men and before she knew it she was walking with them wishing she could run the other way even if it meant jumping into the water.
Hours later a flashlight illuminated the alley that had seen so much chaos. A tall man wearing a long black cloak with the symbol of a Bat on his chest knelt down touching the now cold metallic liquid in the middle of the alley. While the puddle of metal had cooled one or two of the melted bullets still retained enough of their form for the man to recognize them for what they were. “About the right size of a .32 matching the machine pistols used by unknown one and two. Enough metal here for almost 15 or so rounds. Difficult to get the exact measurement. Still, the callibur does match the two Skorpion Vz 61s found my said unknowns. Robin how many shells?”
“Collected 37 so far… three rounds still in the weapons” a Boy of around sixteen stood by the bodies. "Gordon is not going to like this one bit.”
The Man who went by the title Batman while in this gear couldn’t argue. Two thugs dead after shooting at something or someone down an alley. There wasn’t very much information here to go by and no witnesses. The only thing that had originally brought Batman to this location was the earth shaking right after that flaming bird appeared in the sky. Perhaps the two were connected, a flaming bird and melted bullets. Whatever killed the Thugs it was not flames however but a knife and that was yet another anomaly. Whoever slashed their throats did so quickly and very efficiently. Neither of the Thugs had defensive wounds so it appears they were dead before they even realized it, maybe even by one of their own. Batman took a deep breath and then noticed yet another anomaly. He made his way back to where the metal had melted into the dirt and noticed two footprints burned into the alley standing roughly in the path of the where the bullets might have hit. The footprints were small but they were present and now he began to notice other marks from a fire in the area leading back towards the water. As he exited the alley taking in the scent of ocean water he could see an impact site buried deep into the pier, boards on the edges burned quickly by something with a light pair of footprints leading back into the alley. The feet were far too small for the alien from Metropolis, Superman and despite his misgivings towards the man Superman wouldn’t have killed or let those two thugs die like that. He would simply have to leave something for Gordan on the anomaly but without much information on what was going on it wouldn’t be something that could be solved easily, not with all the strange things that had happened tonight.
To make matters worse Zatanna and the Martian Manhunter both had sent him a message earlier about something important but with all the trouble in Gotham that too might have to be put on the backburner and hopefully, they could handle whatever it was that had happened. He would have to drop off Jason back at the cave with a copy of the information hey gleaned and perhaps he could figure out what was going on. He wasn’t Dick Grayson, but Jason Todd was turning out to be a fairly capable Robin. It was going to be a long night and there was so much more anomalies to cover tonight including a disturbance at the Library where Barbara Gordon Worked at.
Marvel DC Crossover
Book 1 Sentinels Over Gotham
It was almost midnight before the police escort slackened enough for Barbara to escape. Her father had already called but she wasn’t able to gather much information about what was going on from him, everyone seemed at a loss. She stopped in her safehouse long enough to make a phone call to check in with Alfred and leave him a message that she would be busy investigating a missing person since Bruce would be busy investigating that fire creature. She felt guilty about not telling him about the wonderland gang but she was certain Bruce would forbid her to go after them and the girl looked like she needed help.
Sometimes Barbara thought Bruce could be too overprotective especially after Dick left and helped form the Titans. That had been some time ago but the situation hadn’t changed very much. The drive to Zatanna’s apartment was not too far she lived in a nearby building on the same block. All Barbara would have to do is use the back alley between the buildings which didn’t prove to be too difficult. Everyone else seemed too busy with the bird of fire that had appeared to notice Batgirl slinking down the alley. For some reason, the stairway leading up to Zatanna’s apartment seemed darker and for the first time, Barbara started noticing how cold the building was which seemed to get colder the closer she got to her friend’s apartment.
Her hand was inches from knocking on the door to Zatanna’s apartment when the realization hit. In her hurry, however, she couldn’t stop her hand in time as it tapped on the door, a dim flash of light erupted from the door in the shape of a pentagram surrounded by a language Barbara couldn’t read. As her mind wrapped around this she began to remember that Zatanna had several wards cast on her apartment protecting it from mystical opponents.
She could have cursed herself for not paying attention; the building was cold and colder than it should have been as if the dead were there with her. It was only then that she felt eyeballs on her where none should have been. She could still see the residue of magic from touching the door on her gloves, she wasn’t sure how magic worked but she was sure it wasn’t supposed to work like that. As the magic had settled on her glove she began hearing a whisper echoing down the hallways, her eyes likewise adjusting.
It was then that she felt something on the stairs. Without moving her eyes she used her peripheral vision and noticed a very tall man standing midway up the stairs going to the next floor. She thought at first he looked odd but quickly realized he was incredibly tall almost at seven and a half feet but it was the fact he had too many legs that stunned her, no not legs he had a tail.
“So you see me”
The deep inhuman voice shocked her further as she turned her head to see the creature. His build was pure muscle, light purple skin barely hidden by a small leather vest and leather shorts, his eyes pinning her down willing her to remain still as she fought back with all she had.
He was built like a bull but moved with the grace of a snake as Barbara could only watch his approach.
“I had despaired you know when I arrived on this world. Surely you sense it, the magic and if I am not mistaken the spell on that door has clung to you for a reason. Perhaps my arrival has warped the magic.” S’ym lifted some of the hair flowing out of Batgirl’s mask sniffing it. “What is this darkness I smell on you? This wonderful darkness.”
If the creature hadn’t been distracted she wasn’t sure she would have escaped or lived through the night. She felt his control over her slip ever so slightly, her hand reaching towards her belt and one of her emergency supplies, a flashbang. She dropped it throwing her weight away from the creature as her hands instinctively reached for her ears; even prepared the result was loud causing her to stumble rather than the more graceful roll she had imagined. Her leg was bruised but she would be able to move the sting of the impact on the floor still in her head as she reached the stairway. She could feel a tug on her cape, already? Didn’t the flashbang even slow it down at all? The cape gave way detaching itself just as Bruce had designed for her and she could hear an explosion as the creature overshot the stairs and crashed through the walls of the building the momentum carrying the creature several feet outward before it plunged to the ground.
The Already off balanced Barbara wobbled as a large impact shook the building sending her falling towards the stairs and only training kept her from breaking her neck or limbs as she tumbled down the stairs. They were ten floors up surely the creature was dead. She limped her way downstairs but no creature was in sight only a large hole in the street, city lights shining down into the caved in sewers.
Far to the north hidden in Salem Woods by multiple high powered magic wards stood a tower without windows that no normal human could see without the assistance. The home of one of the strongest mages on earth had stood here since the late 1940s when the amulet and helmet of Nabu had been unearthed by Kent Nelson. Deep inside this magically enchanted and hidden tower Kent Nelson watches the events happening in Gotham, the flaming bird high in the sky knowing that something horrible was about to arrive in their dimension. In the brief moment, the bird made out of fire appeared Kent could see through it and into another universe similar to their universe but very different.
Something had gone very wrong to tie two universes together like that. An Astral cord of magic energy linked the two wrapping their way around both planets as if it were the Midgard snake. For one moment Kent Nelson wondered why he thought of it in such a manner when an image of a blonde Viking warrior appeared in his mind place there it seemed by fate but something was wrong. In his mind, he could remember the warrior as Thor, the God of Thunder but that did not seem right, the Thor that he knew, the one he remembered had red hair with a full beard. He could also see several warriors standing around Thor in his mind some men and some women. One warrior was cloaked in a uniform that reminded Nelson of the American Flag, a woman wearing a white and black uniform with a starburst icon, an archer in purple, a tiny wasp winged woman, an android in strange colors, an incredibly strong woman with green skin, and he could remember all their names. Captain America, Captain Marvel, Hawkeye, Wasp, The Vision; the names were strange but he could remember them as if he had known them all his life but he couldn’t place where or how he met them. One of the figures in Kent’s memory seemed different than the others; a woman wearing an odd scarlet outfit with matching cloak seemed to be looking right at him in his memory where the others seemed unaware of Kent’s existence.
Kent could see several dangers forming and not all of them were from the same universe which was strange as ever since the crisis of the red skies he hadn’t been able to see anything else out there when he attempted to look outside the universe. It had been that way ever since he could remember even if he knew that there were several people from another universe or who seemed to have seen a multiverse of universes who still lived. Memories of places that should exist but no longer did nagged at his brain and threatened to take his attention from the danger at hand. What Kent did know is that the universe he saw was nothing like what his fragmented memories recalled. In the near infinite universes that Nabu could faintly remember there was no universe like that one. That was the greater danger but it would have to wait while he handled the smaller ones.
Kent could also see a world of hellfires and hellspores far off in the universe where dark gods faced those in the light and Kent could feel something moving there plotting a way to take advantage of the resurgence of heroes on earth. A third danger he could see to the south in Gotham with the bird of fire that Kent suddenly remembered as the Phoenix force but he had no idea why he could remember it in that manner. He could see large robots towering over the frightened people of Gotham searching for anomalies that Kent could only vaguely explain, what is a mutant? Is it a metahuman? The two terms did not seem to be the same but would those robots know the difference? All he knew was that there were hunters coming to Gotham searching for prey. That is where Kent felt he must aim Nabu, that is if the Lord of Order could be ordered. He could see tiny tendrils of beings following the giant robots from that other universe. Those beings he did understand, demonic energy trailed after them which seemed to be invisible to the larger robots. That made sense as beings of science tended to have a problem perceiving magic.
“It’s time for him isn’t it.”
Kent hadn’t noticed his wife Inza until she had spoken, something which Kent once more cursed himself for being so inattentive to someone so important to him. I’ll make it up to her, he thought to himself as he turned to his wife of so many years. “I’m afraid so. The situation is very chaotic and I have to go otherwise our world will be in danger and perhaps the universe will be in danger yet again.”
“It’s like that night of crisis all over again isn’t it?”
“No … it is far worse. That night was at the end of a road of nightmares and however bad it was it was the universe being reborn into something new but this danger threatens to tear the universe apart again. We aren’t alone out there… no not aliens” he spoke as he noticed her odd look. “No, not even magical beings but another universe. That Universe is so similar to ours, but with all new people and nightmares. I need to be in Gotham.” Kent walked over to where the helmet of Nabu rested pausing only a moment before picking up the relic.
Inza Kent wanted to curse, she wanted to scream as she watched her husband place the helmet of Nabu on his head and with that he was gone. While the helmet was on Kent’s head Nabu would be in control and that always worried her. She was terrified of the day that Nabu would no longer return control to Kent and she would lose her husband forever. In the Place of a warm and loving Kent stood Nabu the mind of an ancient magic user from Egypt, she hated him and cursed the day that he entered their lives.
“I have returned” The hollow voice of Nabu filled the room, “You should be safe here until this crisis is over, I hope.”
Those two words shocked her; she had never heard Nabu seem to hesitate and worried. If even Nabu was worried then the danger was far worse than it was during the crimson sky crisis. She watched Dr. Fate phased through the way on his way to the south towards Gotham city in New Jersey. Over the years Inza had picked up a number of Kent Nelson’s techniques in magic and while she wasn’t on Dr. Fate’s level yet, she could use a number of the items in the tower of fate, one of which was a brazier that had allowed Dr. Fate to view events across vast distances. The Braizer was still light so she would not have to start the spell she only needed to renew it, which was far easier.
In the Brazier, she could see the bird of fire and in its center a woman wearing a blood red outfit, spikes running up her arms and legs and with strange scars across her face that made her think of a hound. She could see several teenagers, children in black and yellow type uniforms falling through the hole in the air. One of the teenagers exploded in what looked like cannon fire sending him reeling in the air towards the bay area, another teenager suddenly was surrounded by a dark type of energy which made him appear like a void. One girl who seemed like she was covered in fur landed somewhere near Arkham Asylum and Inza felt fear for the girl knowing the insanity that went on there. The youngest girl she could see near one of Gotham’s libraries and she seemed safe enough until Inza saw the strange men following her that looked like they belonged in a costume party.
When Inza saw the last girl of the group something appeared in front of the girl obscuring the vision. One moment she could see a Native American girl and the next she could see Dr. Fate but without the helmet on. It took her only a moment to notice his eyes to realize what she was seeing, her worst nightmare. She could see Nabu still in control of her husband’s body even after removing the helmet, her screams echoed through the otherwise empty halls of fate.
DC Marvel Crossover
Book 1 Sentinels over Gotham
Two nights ago
Illyana Rasputina’s first real shopping trip with other kids her age, other than Kitty Pryde had gone well. It helped to a degree that she was no longer the only newcomer to the country as the New Mutants, a team in training at the X-Mansion had returned from South America with a new Student. She had been given the nickname Magma by Professor X although she did not prefer the name. Amara Juliana Olivians Aquilla hailed from a city that dated back to the Roman Empire which Illyana found to be fascinating. Most importantly as an old hand to the United States, Illyana was enjoying introducing the other girl to new technology some of which Illyana had only mastered recently herself. Both were fish out of waters and not just because of distance but also time.
The Strange flow of time in Limbo where a strange man named Belasco had kidnapped her aged her and her kick-starting her mutant powers that until now she thought only her brother possessed. Peter Rasputin could change his entire body into a type of living metal which lead to Professor X traveling to Russia to recruit him to help save the world. Eventually one of the X-men’s enemies had targeted Illyana kidnapping her and bringing her to the states. After the X-men had freed her Professor Xavier had found a way for her to stay. Illyana had been having a wonderful time teaching Amara about the new country she was now living in.
“Illyana, why don’t you scout the mansion using your astral form and find out where Professor X is so we can sneak these gifts in.” Cannonball had become the team leader after their last leader Karma went missing. Illyana was certain he was trying to find a way to get her to train her newly found magic abilities without her realizing it. Everything was supposed to have led to a wonderful birthday party but Illyana could sense that something was off when she released her astral form. Something in the air smelled familiar a faint taint of the dimension people had taken to calling Limbo. She knew Limbo by its proper name, Otherplace, the domain of Belasco. As she reached the door to the X-Mansion the scent of Limbo became stronger and she barely had time to bring up any defenses before a large purple astral hand reached through the front door grabbing her arm.
Illyana’s astral defenses failed in an explosion of magic that swept outward from her physical body in the form of a teleportation disk. The world blinked out of existence and they were suddenly in limbo shocking even the demon who had grabbed Illyana’s arm, S’ym, one of Belasco’s henchmen. Magick’s power continued to flare as another teleportation disk pulsed out of her body surrounding the new mutants who had been taken along with them as well as the front yard of the X-mansion and even their car. As Illyana looked around she could see the ruins of the X-Mansion as if it had been destroyed years ago, two giant robots flanked the ruined building turning their cold eyes slowly towards the group of mutants when another explosion happened this time far to the south in New York city drawing the large robot’s attention. The explosion sent a spike of pain through Illyana as another pulse of energy erupted from her body once more transporting the New Mutants, but this time it hurt far worse than before and Illyana heard a demonic scream erupt from S’ym who lost his grip on her arm flinging him outward from the disk over a strange large city that seemed to be partially made up of multiple islands each linked by bridges. Far above her head she could see a large bird made of flames flying upward higher in the sky before exploding and then she too was falling backward and into the city itself as she frantically attempted to use her magic to protect the New Mutants who had traveled with her. She was certain she already saw Cannonball’s powers ignite but the force of the explosion was overriding his ability to fly sending him splashing into the water below. Sunspot and Magma were probably both okay due to their abilities to transform into a more durable form. She had lost track of Wolfsbane and Psyche in the confusion and hoped they would be okay.
When her senses cleared Illyana looked up at the sky and was confused. The Stars were slightly off and she didn’t think she was in New York any longer. She knew she was in a major city but didn’t know which one, it didn’t seem like New York and the architecture was pretty creepy and reminded her of some scary stories she had been reading about. Many of the buildings she could see had gargoyles on them and something odd was in the night sky, a floodlight with the symbol for a Bat.
She didn’t know what direction to go and Professor X was not responding to her mental messages. When she passed by a parking lot she was further confused to see New Jersey license plates and many of the buildings had signs that stated, Gotham City, on them. She was about to give up hope when she came across a library, and Illyana was reminded of the fairy tales that Kitty had told her when she first arrived in the United States and joined her brother living in New York.
The first person she talked to was of very little help. Apparently, her accent was far too difficult and Russian for him to understand, he had looked at her strangely but a young woman with red hair seemed to calm him down saying the girl was too young to be a spy and he was being silly. While they talked Illyana’s eyes had been drawn to a magazine on display and it had a very strange cover. There was a man in a skin-tight blue outfight but with a large stylish S on his chest and with a flowing red cape. She wondered who he was as she didn’t remember anything like that from either her brother or Kitty’s descriptions of the superpowered people that they knew and worked with sometimes. She wondered if he was going to join the Avengers, with the outfit he would fit right in.
“He is impressive isn’t he?” The redhaired woman had apparently taken charge of the situation. “Your knowledge of English is pretty good, have you been in the city for very long?” She seemed nice and Illyana really did need to get back to Salem Center.
“Who is he?” she could hear her accent getting thicker, she had worked hard to fight back against it but when she was scared or confused her accent reverted. “Is he an Avenger?”
The Red-haired woman seemed confused at the question, but it seemed more like she had no idea how someone couldn’t know about the man, and that seemed pretty important for some reason. Was he famous? The magazine was titled ‘an Interview with, Superman, Earth’s Greatest Hero.’
The woman became even more confused and slightly alarmed it seemed when Illyana seemed to have no knowledge of where she was or the fact that Gotham City existed and had never heard of Batman or the Justice League. Illyana was certain that the references were important but she had never heard of them and likewise, the red-haired woman who had introduced herself as Barbara Gordan had never heard of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four or the X-Men which didn’t seem possible to Illyana. She thought that the conversation might be going somewhere when the front doors of the library were shoved open with a bang startling everyone at the front desk.
In the doorframe stood for men two of them impossibly large and all of them wearing the strangest of outfits. One of the men wore a Walrus Mask, while another wore a mask that looked like a white Hare, the two large men didn’t wear a mask but instead were each wearing a cap with a propeller on top making for the strangest sight she had seen reminding her of a costume party for Alice in Wonderland. Barbara was already motioning for her to hide behind the desk with her but it was then she saw the weapons the two masked men were holding. After a very confusing and frustrating night, this was something Illyana understood.
She reached towards the men and called forth an image from her mind of a sword, her Soulsword, a gift and a curse she received from Limbo. “don’t worry I’ll protect everyone” she told Barbara as she stepped towards the strange men with weapons, but something was wrong with the sword as it seemed to be phasing in and out in parts.
The two larger men who seemed to call each other Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum charged forward barely. Whoever they were, the Soulsword was not intimidating them and from what she could tell they weren’t possessed by any magic. As the two men reached towards her Illyana, Magick, as she wanted to be known, drove her sword into the floor of the library drawing magic energies from the sword to tag the four men before summoning her teleportation abilities. They could stand for a drenching in that large body of water she saw earlier but as they began to vanish one of the larger men grabbed her arm taking her with them in a flash of light. Next thing she knew she could taste salt water as she struggled to swim towards the lights of the city again; she had no idea where the armed men showed up. As she stood shivering on the shores of the city she remembered the gift that Kitty had given her earlier, an X-Men belt buckle which stored a costume made out of unstable molecules. With her clothing drenched and very few other options, she looked for a place to change into the uniform feeling guilty that she wasn’t really part of the New Mutants team yet.
That teleportation also deprived Illyana of her purse and she still had no idea where the New Mutants were. As Illyana began looking for a warm place to spend the night she also began trying to remember some of the magic she had learned in Limbo, maybe she could use her Astral form as well although given what just happened the idea frightened her.
Barbara Gordon was terrified for the child. First, there was a flaming bird in the night sky over the Delaware Bay turning night into day and if that wasn’t enough the Wonderland gang had to show up. To make matters worse the girl, who couldn’t be much more than twelve, looked like the type of girl that the Mad Hatter targeted. The girl looked frightened and alone and Barbara thought she had her at ease when those idiots charged into the Library. She almost had the girl to safety when the girl, Illyana was the name she had given, had actually tried to defend the people in the building. Barbara was certain she would have to risk her identity as Batgirl to protect the child when the girl had summoned a sword out of thin air and used it to teleport the thugs and herself, which Barbara was certain was an accident away. Two of her father’s most trusted detectives showed up minutes later and she gave the descriptions to them, the fact that neither batted an eye at the strange events yet another changing side to Gotham, things just kept getting stranger and stranger. The detectives swore they would pass a message along to keep an eye out for the girl and Barbara hoped that if someone did find her it wouldn’t be one of the more corrupt cops that tended to gravitate towards Gotham.
She was certain that her father would have a police officer watch the door to her apartment so it might take some time for her to sneak out and make her way to Bruce’s Batcave to give him an update on what was going on and maybe it would actually be better to check in with Zatanna if she was still in town whoever that girl really was she seemed to have a very strong control over magic, something Zatanna understood a lot better than Batman did.
Two nights ago a bird completely made of flames rose over Gotham harbor exploding lighting up the entire Deleware Bay to give a clear view of Metropolis on the other side of the bay. Even the vaunted speed of the Man of Steel was not enough to find out just what exploded on that cold October night. Since that time Master Bruce had very little sleep and even his new apprentice Jason Todd was working in the lab looking over strange samples that had landed in the dock area.
Tonight looked to be a stressful but quiet night until Gordon’s alarm began blaring in the Batcave sending the many winged creatures that sometimes rested above the vehicle port in a frenzy. Whatever happened in Gotham it was an emergency that required more than the Bat signal, an emergency that simply couldn’t wait. As Batman and Robin rushed towards the Bat Mobile, Alfred was left to wonder if this was related to that flaming bird in the sky, the one that looked like a Phoenix of ancient myths.
Jason Todd, had only met the chief of Police a few times since he had taken on the mantle of Robin after Dick Grayson had already changed his call sign from Robin to Nightwing. It seemed like the thing to do, that someone as dark as the Batman should have someone brighter working with him to keep Bruce from descending into darkness. As the two climbed the back way to the roof Jason noticed several of the police officers still outside the precinct were on edge, more so than even the likes of Gotham and all the crazies that made a home there.
When the two reached the roof Jason could already tell it would be a nightmare night, maybe one that Batman would send him back to the cave for, had the Joker escaped again? Whatever the issue Commissioner Gordon was on edge the file in his hand distorted from his fist closing on it.
“Jim…” Bruce had noticed all of the details Jason did and probably more.
“He’s at it again, The Mad Hatter. One of my undercovers sent an emergency message and then nothing. We burned a contact but they managed to get this to us.” Gordon handed the file over to Batman who after a glance handed it to Jason. Inside were several pictures of Jervis Tetch with a young girl tied up and barely conscious from the looks of it. He couldn’t see her face too well from the mass of curly blonde hair covering her face but her outfit was strange and didn’t match anything he had seen before in the Batcomputer. The girl was wearing a black and yellow outfit with a red belt clasped with a large X in yellow and red where the buckle should be. Her gloves and boots were both yellow with a stripe of yellow running up the middle of the outfit, arms, and legs in black.
“She’s a Meta?” Jason couldn’t believe he said that out loud and immediately noticed Bruce’s eyes on him. He was supposed to have been quiet during these meetings since it could easily give away his identity.
“We honestly don’t know but there is no mistaking the outfit is strange much like that flying man over in Metropolis, whoever she is she is in danger if Jervis Tetch has her, fortunately, it doesn’t seem like she has been in his clutches for very long.”
“Time is still an issue and maybe more so if she is a metahuman and might have some resistance to the Tetch’s chemicals. She did not appear to be under the same kind of effect as Tetch’s normal victims but she is also older than the girls he normally kidnaps… don’t worry Jim, we’ll keep an eye out for the undercover as well.”
The Flaming bird in the sky must have everyone on edge; Jason hadn’t remembered the Commissioner sounding so nervous before and even before and the commissioner had been around for five years as far as Jason could remember.
As the two returned to the Batmobile Jason was already pulling up the file on the Mad Hatter. They had faced Jervis before and not that long ago when he had attacked Nocturna, Natalia Knight, who had attempted in her own strange way to align with Bruce forcing him to marry her. It was strange to have a woman fight over adopting him in that strange plot. The problem at hand was Tetch and his obsession with young girls fitting the description of Alice from the novel Alice in Wonderland.
“Pictures show a setup like the other kidnappings but it’s all off. This girl looks like she fits the description of Alice except she is a lot older and this picture has an Alice in Wonderland outfit over that strange uniform.” The Batmobile had not traveled very far when Bruce started slowing down the vehicle, one of Batman’s informants waving a shirt to get their attention from an alley. The man looked scared and as if he had run a marathon it was lucky that they even saw him.
A second one Jason thought to himself as the homeless man tried to tell his story stumbling on it and needing to stop and start over several times before getting it out. He and his friends saw a strange man in a large green top hat grab a young blonde girl; they had tried to inform the police but were chased off. That reaction happened from time to time and even the best work that Batman and Gordon did couldn’t get all of the corrupt cops out of Gotham. The description the homeless man gave was even more disturbing, she was wearing a very tight outfit of black and yellow with an x on the belt buckle. The two had to be linked and the disaster of the situation put the first kidnapped girl in a lot of danger as Tetch now had an Alice whose age closer matched the novel.
Fortunately, they had a better location; there was a tea import company not that far from where the second girl was grabbed. Jason watched Batman tense his muscles; even he knew they would not have much time to save that first girl. It would be Jason’s job to get the two girls out of danger and it would be made worse by the fact that the two were likely drugged.
The Liddell Tea import company, how did that get by anyone with half a brain, looked like it was mostly shut down for the night. Only one light was on the third floor, if the information was right that is where the Mad Hatter would be. With the Batmobile parked the two noticed a large man moving from a van to the side door of the business wearing a strange formal jacket his face covered by a white hare mask, one of the Wonderland gang.
Batman gave the hand sign, do not fight find the girls. The two were in stealth mode now no communication unless absolutely needed. While Batman shadowed the White Hare, Jason took a different path towards a fire escape on the back side of the building facing the water, unguarded. As Robin began moving up the fire escape he could hear music, nursery rimes. If the pattern held, then the second girl was safe for now as Tetch wouldn’t do anything while the music played as he reached the window to the third floor he glanced into the dark empty room, the door leading to the hallway was still open and across the hallway he could see a light room from which the music was playing. He could see the end of a table where a man was sitting his head tilted to the side and not a good sign, it was likely the undercover. He could see a tusk from the mask the man was wearing and concluded the undercover must have been working for the gang and that was how he came across the information.
He was above to move on with the surveillance when he noticed something move slightly in the room. His eyes took a moment to adjust to the light pollution when he realized it was the first girl that was kidnapped and thankfully still alive from the movements he could see. Jason checked for alarms as he was instructed and disabled a simple one before unlocking the window and sliding into the room. He checked the girl's pulse and used a small flashlight to check her pupils, even now she was recovering. He gave her a quieting motion and slipped the gag off her before starting to work on the ropes she was tied up in when he heard something, the girl was whispering something and having a hard time speaking.
“Illos Omines Magnos”
Some strange language Jason had never heard of, it took a moment to realize she was also trying to point with her eyes and head as he followed this line of sight he realized his mistake. On the other side of the darkened office he had snuck in stood two very large muscular men standing on the other side of a large oak desk that separated them and provided cover that Robin had missed in his speed to help the girl. Robin was about to move throwing his bola at them when the wall behind the two men exploded towards them, large clawed hands reaching into the room and the face of something horrible, from a nightmare. At that moment another explosion happened this one Jason did recognize as one of Bruce’s gas bombs. Jason did not hesitate only cut the bonds on the girl helping her to her feet and towards the window to the fire escape as quickly as they could go. Whatever broke through the wall was fighting Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. And then the two were floating away from the building on some strange golden light and it took a moment for Robin to realize he was looking right at Dr. Fate, one of the founders of the Justice Society that he read about in history class and in the movies. If Dr. Fate was here then that must have been a demon, Robin's world just got a little darker as he checked on the girl he was attempting to help. She still seemed mostly under the influence of whatever drugs Tetch gave her but she did seem to be recovering.
The Batmobile already had a driver and it wasn’t Bruce but instead Batgirl, Bruce must have called her in at one point. As Batgirl drove in silence he could hear the older of the two girls speaking something still. Jason wished he could understand what she was saying; she was a pretty girl and would be in a lot of distress after what she witnessed from the Mad Hatter.
“She’s talking about evil spirits.”
Jason had forgotten for a moment that Batgirl was there instead of Bruce.
“She’s speaking Latin, although the accent is a bit different than some of the more modern versions. She keeps saying Lemure. Evil Spirit or Ghost and if that glowing flying guy was Dr. Fate then he and Batman will be dealing with a fairly major one.”
“There was a creature tearing into Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum” Batgirl didn’t respond to what Jason had said only concentrated on driving. She already knew the orders Batman would have given Jason, avoid combat. It was the right call to get the girl out of danger since the brothers could likely handle themselves and Dr. Fate was already in the area. Soon they would be back in the cave where Alfred could use his medical training to help the girls. They had almost reached the cave when the younger girl started moving more and speaking this time in Russian. The two girls didn’t seem to be sisters although they were both wearing that odd costume with the X symbol on it. Robin wondered if there was an overseas group of Metahumans starting to operate but if so there was nothing about it on the Bat-computer and it tended to have the best Intel on Meta-Human activities.
“Whoever they are that is probably their native languages…. Oh my god” Batgirl pulled the Batmobile over to the side. As the two exited the vehicle Jason could see what got her attention. Large humanoid like figures flew over the skyline of Gotham, searchlights shining down from the heads of the creatures. They couldn’t see the detail all that well but whatever it was the robots were massive and Jason estimated around twenty feet tall.
“We have to hide those are Sentinels”
Both Jason and Barbara turned to see the older girl peeking out the window of the Batmobile, her eyes much clearer and speaking in English this time. They could see the far on her face and quickly moved, Alfred would be able to calm the girl down, they both thought, and then they could find out just what a Sentinel was.