- Sun May 03, 2015 2:52 pm
Man,I haven't posted a lot of my chapters to this here. If you are liking what you are reading, let me know! I love feedback!
Ch. 9: No Need for a Miracle
Stately Wayne Manor was silent when Kiyone and Washu returned to it after finalizing a game plan with the Man of Steel. Though they had visited it prior to the final confrontation with Darkseid, the two never got a good look at the house. Looking around for Damian, whom they suspected to have followed them, the pair were drawn to various Wayne portraits left on the floor. It appeared that this section of Wayne Manor had seen some kind of action. A card remained on the floor. Kiyone bent down to pick it up. A skull wearing a sombrero adorned it.
"'Death Traps by El Sombrero?' What the hell happened here?" Kiyone asked herself. Washu took the card and examined it.
"Obviously Wayne Manor here was infiltrated by this El Sombrero at some point prior to the Darkseid crisis. See here?" Washu pointed to a collection of family portraits that have collapsed on the floor. "This place was rigged to kill someone. Hopefully it didn't hurt anyone..."
"Well, Alfred did a good job of getting rid of the damage, but he didn't get around to a few places," a male voice said. The two girls turned around and were met with a pleasant sight.
A young man was standing behind them in his own costume. He had spiked black hair and wore a black and blue form fitting spandex costume. On his face was a domino mask that was similar to Damian's but pointed at the edges. Behind him was the boy in question, tied up and gagged.
"I take it you are the 'pink haired wench' Dami here screaming about when I found him racing toward Bludhaven?" the male asked.
Washu rose an eyebrow. "That would indeed be me. Told you he'd follow us, right Kiyone?"
Kiyone, who found herself staring at the man, blinked out of it and nodded. Washu noted the look and smiled to herself. "Aaaany way, my name is Washu Hakubi, the greatest scientific genius in the galaxy, and this is Kiyone Makibi, a detective in the Galaxy Police. Judging by the age and outfit, I'd say you are the first Robin, Dick Grayson."
If Grayson was surprised, he didn't show it. "Clever, though I technically go by Nightwing now. Damian was telling me that you hacked into the Bat-Computer. Gotta say, I'm surprised. Why would an alien scientist and a cop want the aid of superheroes in America?"
"You know, I'm still getting used to the fact that nobody seems to care or find it weird that we are aliens," Kiyone said annoyingly, speaking up at last. "We have always been taught that Earth isn't ready to join the greater galaxy."
Dick shrugged. "Hey, I don't care. I was engaged and almost married to an alien princess. In our kind of work, it's rather common."
"You don't say?" Washu said, impressed and intrigued. "Regardless, your pal Barbara Gordon sent out a message that I was able to decipher throughout all of the Anti-Life crap that we have been dealing with for what seems like weeks even though it was really only days. We picked her up and brought her to my subspace laboratory.
Nightwing nodded. "Got it. Interdimensional doorways...makes sense. I assume it was there that you contacted Damian and Alfred?"
The level of comprehension that Dick Grayson was showing made Washu smile uncontrollably. "Right in one. Damn, it is good to talk to someone who isn't completely lost when I explain things!"
"When you have visited the Fortress of Solitude and spent a weekend palling around with the likes of Cyborg and Raven, you tend to pick up some things," he admitted.
The comment caused Washu's eyes to expand. "And you, good sir, have just gotten me back on track! Superman has requested our presence in the Fortress of Solitude. I was going to collect the others. Want to tag along and bring bound and beautiful over there?" Washu asked, pointing to a struggling Damian.
"Why not? I've got nothing better to do. It's not like we have a choice since it looks like the planet itself has basically been murdered. I'd ask why you two went to Bludhaven, but I assume you are waiting for an audience."
"I like him," Washu said, pointing to Nightwing. "He hasn't met me for longer than ten minutes and he has me figured out. Ready squirt?"
Damian made a muffled sound that sounded like "I'm going to kill you!"
The tension in the subspace lab could be cut with a knife. Mihoshi paced around while Oracle scoured Washu's computer for any hint of information on her new allies. The only one who seemed calm and composed was Alfred, who went around observing the lab as if nothing life threatening was happening with Ryo-Ohki on his shoulder.
"I miss Kiyone!" Mihoshi wailed. "I don't want her to die or lose her soul!"
"Have faith Miss Mihoshi," Alfred told her comfortingly. "We haven't heard any negative news at all. That means there is still hope."
"Meow!" Ryo-Ohki purred encouragingly.
"My, you are a smart one, aren't you?" he chuckled to himself. "Though, I must say that if we do not hear anything from Miss Washu or Miss Kiyone then one of us will have to attempt to open up the doorway to Wayne Manor again."
Oracle grunted in frustration. "I've been trying Alfred. I'm a hacker, not a miracle worker. This system is beyond anything I have ever encountered...at this rate, by the time we can get the doorway working we will have starved to death and Damian would be who knows where!"
"Again Miss Gordon, I believe in you. You just need confidence," Alfred told her. "Enough of that negativity nonsense. After all, we need to save some energy to scold Master Damian for his little 'escape escapade.'"
"I look forward to that conversation," Barbara allowed herself to smile. "'Pennyworth, I had every right to follow that pink haired harlot to my father's house! She defiles it by even being there!'"
"Good impression Babs. Sounds just like our Boy Wonder wannabe here," a new voice said.
As she was speaking, the door they were longing for finally appeared and opened. Out from the shadows came the all too familiar forms of Washu, Kiyone, Damian, and Dick Grayson. After making his comment to Barbara, Nightwing started to look around and take in his surroundings. "Wow, nice place you have here. What did it take you to design it? 1,000 years? 2,000?"
Washu shrugged and blushed. "Well actually this iteration of it was developed in mere moments, but my collection has been steadily growing since that time. I was even able to reclaim several items of mine that were confiscated before my own banishment."
"No kidding," Nightwing said.
Any further quips by the former Robin were interrupted by Barbara making her way to him and giving him a hug. Alfred joined her embrace to greet him. "Master Richard, it is good to see you!"
"Thanks Alfie. Happy to see everybody safe and sound. Where's Bruce? Is he meeting us here?"
A loud coughing sound was heard by all. Damian had managed to remove his restraints and get the gag out of his mouth. "Grayson, I will...I will kill you for that," Damian panted. "But your question has merit. Hakubi, where is my father?"
Kiyone, who was trapped in her own embrace by Mihoshi, pried the woman off of her and bent down to Damian's level. "Damian...when we were in Darkseid's bunker...we...found something..."
"Stop playing around woman!" Damian barked. "Where. Is. My. Father?!"
"He's dead," Washu whispered. "He mortally wounded Darkseid and was killed for it. Superman found the corpse and will examine it after all of this is over. I'm...so sorry to have to tell you."
The room was still. It took the Bat Family a few minutes to process what they had just heard. Barbara was the first to shed tears, followed by Alfred. It was impossible to comprehend what was going on in their heads. Bruce Wayne, the man that brought them all together, was killed by the God of Evil.
"That's impossible!" Damian roared. "I refuse to believe my father is dead! We are going to the Kryptonian's and I will give him a piece of my mind!"
"That can be arranged. Superman wants everyone to come to his Fortress of Solitude. Though Darkseid is dead, it seems that he is bringing the planet with him. The planet has become unstable and if I didn't know any better, the Multiverse as well. We only have a short amount of time before the planet dies!"
"What's a Multiverse?" Mihoshi asked innocently.
"Beyond your comprehension."
"Wait," Barbara asked. "You haven't told us anything. Did it work?"
Washu forced a weak smile. "You can see for yourself. We need to pick up Tenchi and the gang before we head over. Into the doorway everyone."
As the people entered the doorway, abet unwillingly to a degree, Damian locked eyes on Washu. "If you ever try that locking me out crap again, I will kill you where you stand."
She blinked and nodded. 'Now's not the time to attack his ego. He just lost a father and all guidance in his life. I'll let it slide...for now...'
Tenchi Masaki blinked.
He looked around his house and surveyed the surroundings. The last thing he remembered was sitting down to watch TV with the girls. Now he was standing up with in a different area of his house with the TV playing a string of words on loop in the distance. He also noticed that he seemed very physically tired and hungrier than he had been in ages.
"What just happened? Where are Sasami and Ayeka, or Ryoko for that matter?" Tenchi asked himself.
The youth started to move around the house, looking for any clues that might tell him where his friends were. He noted that the door was destroyed...again... and was planning on investigating it. From outside he could see that the sky was still as red as blood. As he moved by a mirror, he had the shock of his life. He was no longer wearing his casual clothing but rather a dingy uniform with what appeared to be a lowercase "N" on it. "Whaaaaa? I don't...what's going on here?!"
"Trust me Lord Tenchi," a familiar voice called out. "It is a long story."
Tenchi turned to see Washu, Mihoshi, Kiyone, and surprisingly a host of other people he had never met before appear from the remnants of his closet. "Washu, why am I not surprised that you are behind this. And..."
"Shhh," she said, putting a finger to his lips. The genius scientist seemed more distant and haunted than usual. "That can wait until the others return. I expect they should be arriving soon, probably from whatever factory the Anti-Life Equation willed you to work at."
Tenchi opened his mouth to protest, but closed it after realizing that he was beyond confused. Thus, he turned his attention to the costumed individuals who were standing around admiring his living room. "I'm not even sure if I want to ask at this point, but who are these people?"
The older gentleman, balding with a small mustache, started to speak in what Tenchi believed to be English. As he was not naturally fluent in the language, Tenchi had no idea what he was saying. Washu noticed this and started typing on her keyboard.
"Sorry Tenchi! Here, put this in your ear. It is a universal translator, that allows them to understand you, and you them," she said, handing him the small device.
As he was putting it in his ear, he found himself stuck in a giant embrace. Mihoshi was squeezing him with all of her might. "OhTenchiIwassoscaredIthoughtyouwouldnevergetbetter!" she was crying at a mile a minute.
'Just another typical day of my life,' Tenchi thought to himself. 'Always two steps behind everyone.'
"I...can't...breathe!" Tenchi managed to get out.
"Mihoshi, please! Tenchi is probably malnourished and exhausted. You are doing more harm than good!" Kiyone exclaimed, trying to pry her off.
"*tt* If that's all this rube is going to say then why bother with a translator at all? At least I can speak fluent Japanese..." the caped boy started out.
"Damian, you aren't the center of the world, despite what your Al-Ghul half tells you," the man who looked only a few years older than Tenchi replied. Though he was clearly joking, he sounded so...defeated.
"Let's put it like this: I don't know if there will be a world for the kid to be the metaphorical center of. Darkseid's death is destroying all of time and space around this planet. If Superman can't create his Miracle Machine then..."
"Hold on a minute! Where are the girls, or Dad or Grandpa? Why are there Americans in my house? And what am I wearing?" the lad cried out.
"Buddy, why don't you sit down and breathe. My name's Nightwing and I'm...did anyone else just feel that?" the young man started.
Tenchi looked over to the window. He did indeed feel a rumbling from his feet and knew exactly where it came from. "Well that answers one question," he sighed. "Brace yourselves!"
A large explosion filled the room. From the ashes of the wall came the familiar spiked hair of Ryoko and the purple hair of Ayeka. Both ladies were dressed in similar clothes to him and looked like they would kill everyone in the room.
"TENCHI, WHERE ARE YOU?!" Ryoko roared.
"STAY AWAY FROM HIM YOU DEMON, HE'S MINE!" Ayeka retorted, panting at the energy used to keep up with her foe.
Nightwing took a step back and went to grab his escrima stick. "Did we miss some of Darkseid's minions?!"
"No," Washu hung her head low. "They would be with us."
He blinked and observed the situation. "Are you sure? They look like they are about to kill your friend over there."
The group looked at the sight of two women nearly tearing the arms off the poor Japanese lad whose house they were currently in. Damian made a dismissive notion and slammed a wall. "Listen you simpletons; we are on a tight schedule here! If your impromptu mating ritual is over we need to figure out what happened to my father!"
Ryoko and Ayeka stopped their bickering and noticed the plethora of new guests in the house.
"Who's the brat and why is he dressed like a Sentai character?" Ryoko asked.
"*tt* Goodie, another Japanese idiot."
"You come in to MY house and call me an IDIOT?!" Ryoko roared, making her way to the child.
"Well technically it's my..." Tenchi started before being knocked over by Damian.
"Listen to me you pathetic wretch, I have just lost my father today and right now, I REALLY want to shed blood. Shall it be yours?" Damian got into her face. "Please say it will."
With a flick of a wrist, Damian brought out a batarang. At the same time, Ryoko created an energy sword.
"Ryoko, calm down!"
"Master Damian, Master Bruce would not want you behaving in such a manner as this!"
After a tense moment, the two prideful beings let their guards down. Damian scowled and started to leave. "If you fools are not going to take this seriously, I'll find my own way to the Kryptonian's Fortress."
"Grow up Damian," Nightwing offered. "You can't get to the Arctic from Japan just by walking."
"At least I'm doing something Grayson!"
Tenchi blinked and tried to process all of that information in between Ayeka scolding Ryoko and her retorts back. "Wait, the arctic?! This is raising even more questions!"
"Jeez, you are confusing the poor kid!"
"Shut up Grayson!"
"Ayeka," Washu turned to the Jurian princess. "Where are Sasami and Nobuyuki? Were they with you?"
Looking incredibly grateful to answer a question that she knew something about, Ayeka smiled, but then turned to immediate shock. "Oh my goodness; we ran off without them! We were in the city! We left them in the care of Azaka and Kamidake." She turned to the small animal on Mihoshi's shoulder. "Ryo-Ohki, would you please go find my dear sister? There are several carrots in it for you!"
"MEOW!" She hopped off the blonde and through the hole in the wall. Once she made it outside, she transformed into her spiked spaceship form and sped off.
Grayson looked at everyone in the room with amazement. "Nobody is going to question the small animal that turned into a spaceship? Nobody? Not even you Babs?" He shrugged. "Oh well; guess that I'm alone on this one."
Barbara cocked an eyebrow. "Please tell me we can explain everything on the way North once everyone gets here, assuming Azaka and Kamidake are people too."
Washu nodded. "Ancient alien knights actually. And sure; no problem. Hey all of you grab anything you immediately need! We have a schedule to keep!"
"What ARE you babbling on about Miss Washu?" Ayeka asked. "What could we possibly have missed while we were...well doing whatever we were doing?"
"Oh, you guys lost your free will and we helped Superman kill the God of Evil!" Mihoshi explained.
"Incredible! Dad is somewhere out there after being mind controlled by this Darkseid God guy?!" Tenchi's father exclaimed.
"It sounds like our foe was fearsome indeed!" the Knight named Kamidake exclaimed. "I feel ashamed we missed the battle and lost Lord Yosho."
The group had finally joined back together and all of the occupants of the house, guests included, made their way to the Arctic Circle. As promised, Washu, Kiyone, Barbara, and Alfred were attempting to fill those affected by the Anti-Life Equation in on what they missed.
"Well we know he was somewhere near the Hall of Justice, but that was weeks ago. He could be anywhere," Barbara offered.
"Supes will make sure he is okay. That's what he does," Nightwing added. "Seriously, if Superman is involved, expect a happy ending."
"Phrasing Grayson," Damian scowled.
Dick patted the boy's back. "See; he made a joke! He can be taught!"
"So when did you two lunkheads get back to Earth? You weren't at the house or the shrine when the Equation hit," Washu asked the two Guardians of Jurai.
Azaka looked to his partner and hung his head in shame. "We had gotten the signal that there was a galactic upset on Earth and made our way back here. I believe we just barely managed to land before the time distortion took place. We arrived at the house to collect you all but it was too late and we were done for."
"We should have prepared ourselves better! We are Knights of the Planet Jurai! We are above such failings! Forgive us Lady Sasami!" Kamidake bowed in shame.
The young girl simply smiled. "You couldn't have known silly! Don't worry about it! You are here now and that's what matters!"
"I just can't believe we got caught up in another intergalactic conflict. Even Father knew better than to get involved with the conflict on New Genesis and Apokolips," Ayeka stammered. "I wish I could have showered before leaving; my hair is atrocious!"
"Just your hair?" Ryoko chided.
With that, Ayeka and Ryoko reignited their feud once more, subjecting all parties involved to hear their squabbling.
"Do these women do this every day over you?" Damian asked Tenchi.
Tenchi scratched the back of his head and chuckles nervously. "Yeah; it's the story of my life I suppose."
Looking at the sight of two grown women trying to kill each other, the young lad shook his head. "Then you have my condolence."
Barbara observed the carnage with intense curiosity. 'These two women have just as much power as Firestorm or maybe even Power Girl. Who ARE these people and why haven't they attracted more global attention before? Is Washu just that good at covering their messes?'
"Babs, is everything alright? You seem worried," Dick moved over to his on again/ off again girlfriend.
She cocked an eyebrow in response. "Worried? Why would I be worried about sharing a small cockpit area with two aliens trying to kill each other? It's just another normal day for us, isn't it?"
"I know, right?" Dick laughed. "To think, not too long ago I was nearly lobotomized by a hunchbacked dwarf. That was something. This? This is a typical Tuesday."
Barbara could not help but smile. "Only you, Richard Grayson, would call this typical."
He shrugged. "What about Supes? Or Kara? Or Hal? Or..."
"Okay, okay you made your point!"
"Ah, young love~!" Washu whispered in a sing song voice. "Even in the face of the end of the world it still shines through!"
"...I hate you," Barbara grumbled, her face becoming as red as her hair.
"Listen up all of you," Kiyone yelled from the helm of the cabbit ship. "We are coming up on your coordinates. We should be at the Fortress of Solitude momentarily."
"Thanks captain obvious," Damian grumbled.
For a palace of solitude, the Fortress was full of life. Several beings, both in costume and out of it, were rushing around to either be aided to offer assistance. It was a bit much for the alien guests from Japan.
Well, not all of them.
"This is incredible! Actual Kryptonian architecture! It has been so long since I got to observe it up close!" Washu blurted out in overzealous excitement.
"So this Krypton was a planet that exploded?" Noboyuki asked, scratching his head. "This space stuff is too far out for me. Still, the design is incredible!"
"Dad's an architect," Tenchi explained to the others.
Damian grunted. "I really don't care."
Just then, a big blue blur appeared in front of the crowd. However, this blue and red adorned figure was not the Son of Krypton. Rather, it was a young woman with long blonde hair. She squealed with delight and gave Barbara a hug.
"Barbara! Kal told me you would be here soon! I'm happy to see that you got here okay! Uncle Alfred too!"
"It is a pleasure Miss Zor-El, though I do wish we could have met again under better circumstances," Alfred chuckled.
The blonde eyed the Masaki clan. "Hey Barbara, who are they?" she whispered.
"For better or worse, they are friends…I guess," she replied. "The pink haired one is the one who brought down the Anti-Life Equation."
"Oh!" Supergirl exclaimed. "You must be Washu! I'm Supergirl, but you can call me Kara! My cousin told me about you! I have to direct you to the tech lab! That's where the others are working on the device."
"Nice to meet you Miss Zor-El! Lead away; I'm curious as to what your cousin has in mind," Washu said, clearly humbled by the praise.
"Hey, what about us?" Ryoko growled. "What are we supposed to do?"
"And where is your cousin Kryptonian?! I need to give him a piece of my mind!" Damian roared.
The blonde haired Kryptonian studied the boy and cocked her head. "Who are you again?"
Damian screamed in rage. "I'm Damian Wayne Al-Ghul, son of Batman and grandson of Ras al Ghul! The pink haired whelp told me some ridiculous fairy tale about the death of my father. I'm here to beat the information out of him! Where. Is. He?!"
As he finished his rant, the man himself flew in. Superman surveyed the group of people and tried to smile. However, a perceptive mind like Kiyone could see that it was hiding a great sadness.
"It's Superman! Wow!" Mihoshi exclaimed.
"I do not have long Damian, but I could hear you from my study. If you are here for answers, I am happy to give them after the…"
"NO! It is a simple question Kryptonian! What happened to my father?" Damian cut him off. Though they were obscured by his domino mask, his eyes were begging for an answer. The sudden display of passion caused Kiyone, Mihoshi, Ayeka, and Sasami's eyes to water.
The tears started to flow when Damian was handed a burnt cape and cowl.
"Damian…I…." Superman started. Damian held up his hand and walked away. The man of steel made a motion to follow him, but Alfred shook his head.
"The lad needs to adjust to this himself,. You did everything you could Master Kent," he explained.
"It doesn't make it any easier Alfred. We failed him."
Kiyone put a hand on his shoulder. "He died a hero Superman. It's more than most people could ask for."
Superman nodded. "All of you, I wish I could have the time to talk and get to know you, but time is of the essence. Our Earth is about to crumble into an abyss and I need to brace the Fortress."
"Crumbling? Do we have a way to move the Fortress to my subspace lab?" Washu asked. "I have resources there that can aid in the creation of the 'Miracle Machine."
Superman blinked and then nodded. "We need to find Shilo Norman. His Motherboxx could ping the entire compound there. Come with me and then you can help Luthor, Caulder, Silvana, and the others. Our existence depends on it."
"Oooh! Our very existence in the palm of my hand! This is the best day ever!" Washu cheered and she grabbed Superman's hand. The two flew away in a blink of an eye,
Barbara just shook her head. "She is the only one I know that would have that kind of response to a life or death situation like this."
"Sister," Ayeka sighed. "I could tell you stories."
Nightwing looked around. "Say, where IS your sister?'
"What are you talking about? She is right…" Ayeka stopped and frantically started to run around. "SASAMI?!"
Damian Wayne sulked in the corner, hidden from all of the people that remained in the Fortress of Solitude. Though he heard Superman's cryptic warnings about the death of the Earth, he cared little for it. All that mattered at that moment was the object in his hand: his father's cape and cowl.
"She wasn't lying. Father is dead," Damian whispered to himself.
He punched a wall and observed the crack in the ice expand. With that, he started to repeatedly punch the wall. "I wasn't there for him! I could have helped! If only that Hakubi woman didn't lock me in I would have…"
"Would have what?" a soft voice asked curiously. Damian spun around and found himself staring into the innocent pink eyes of the youngest Jurian princess.
"None of your concern 'Princess.' Leave me be," the boy muttered, clearly annoyed at being discovered.
Sasami paused and then sat down beside the troubled youth. "You know, my mommy died when I was very young."
Damian turned his head slightly in recognition and then shrugged it off. "I'm sorry for not giving you my condolences, but I hardly see the…"
"It was hard to get over it. I cried and cried every night. My daddy and Ayeka were a wreck too, but it was hard to get through to him. I only had Ayeka. But you know what?" Sasami asked, maintaining a cheerful smile.
"I'm going to assume you are going to tell me even if I don't ask, so what?"
"Ayeka was all I needed! She was there for me, and I was there for her. We got through it together! I took up my mommy's love of cooking as a way to get closer to her. Now every time I cook, I feel like I'm cooking with her!"
"That's all well and good, but she is still dead! Just like Father is still dead!"
"But you still have Alfred…and Nightwing…and…"
"*tt* The servant and a circus clown. What use do I have of them?" Damian sneered.
Damian recoiled and put a hand to his face. It was burning red. "You…you slapped me! Are you mad woman?!"
It was then that he looked into her eyes again. He could see the girl's pain behind the cheerfulness. He could see her empathy toward his situation. He could see her disgust at his attitude.
"Family should always stick together! How can you say that about them? You should be ashamed!"
"Should I?!" Damian countered back. "These people were never there for me in my life! My mother raised me to be an assassin who can kill without mercy or regret! I never met my father until roughly a year ago! My grandfather tried to kill me so he could return to life in my body! My mother…"
"Isn't here," Sasami said curtly, tears in her eyes. "If your mother loves you so much, why isn't she here? "
"The Anti-Life Equation…"
"Do you really believe that?"
The question pierced Damian's soul. Doubt began to set in and it truly dawned upon him: he was alone…and yet had Grayson and Pennyworth by his side. 'If Father trusted these buffoons…maybe….'
"I…I honestly can't say," Damian managed to get out. "What do you suggest I do then?"
Sasami paused and thought about it. A smile appeared on her face and she hugged him. Damian began to try to pry her off. "Get off of me or I'll cut your hand off!"
The blue haired princess laughed. "I'll let go if you come back with me! Stop sulking in the shadows and join the whole group! The world needs a Boy Wonder and you seem dressed for the part!"
"Are you always this optimistic? Seriously, it is sickening."
"Miss Washu, you made that seem so…easy. I have never seen a dimensional hop on this scale done so fast!" Superman told the pink haired scientist. Using her computer and Shilo Norman's Motherboxx, the pair managed to transport the entire Fortress of Solitude into a pocket of her subspace lab. Various heroes were bringing technology that Washu possessed into the area where the world's greatest minds were working on the Miracle Machine.
Washu laughed as hard as she could. "Oh Son of Jor-El, it was easy enough for the Greatest Scientific Genius in the Galaxy!"
The ever familiar form of Washu's doll popped on her shoulder. "Washu you did it!"
"Washu you saved the planet!" the second doll appeared.
"My, how narcissistic," a jeering voice said from behind. Washu observed a bald man walk toward the two of them. He was wearing green and purple power armor and staring incredulously at the scientist.
Raising an eyebrow, Washu paused a moment. "Ah, you must be the former American president, businessman, and criminal genius Lex Luthor!"
"I am. It's nice to see my reputation precedes me. However, I must say I have never heard of you before little girl. You give the air of an older woman, yet you look like you are nine. You created an entire dimension in an instant, something that even a being like Braniac could not do…as far as I am aware of. Tell me, who or what are you?" Lex Luthor interrogated.
"Lex, is now a good time…" Superman started before Washu put up a hand.
"I got this Supes. We will get your machine up and running in no time. I am just who I said I was: Washu Hakubi, the greatest…"
"Spare me your dolls child. I know your name and your ridiculous boasting! I want details!"
This caused Hakubi to smile. "I like him," she told Superman. "I'm a 20,000 year old alien scientific genius who has invented so many things, from weapons to tools. I was even a member of the Galactic Academy before I was banished to this planet oh so many years ago. Hell, I even cancelled out the Anti-Life Equation."
"That was you?!" Luthor roared. "You beat me to the chase! I managed to create a device to block out Tetch's equipment to hijack that Equation! You wasted my time!"
"Feh, who cares Luthor? She got my daughter back to her senses. So what if she showed us up?" another bald scientist called over. "I am Doctor Thaddeus Bodog Sivana and I do, uncharacteristically I might add, thank you for that."
Washu bowed in respect. "No problem Silvy! Now, tell me how this puppy works!"
As Superman moved over to explain Washu's portion of the project, Luthor curled up his hand into a fist. "Damn cocky aliens…I'd love to go to your Galactic Academy and show them who the 'Greatest Scientific Genius in the Universe really is…'"
"Keep dreaming Lex!" Washu shouted from the other side of the room.
"Come on folks, move along this way!" Kiyone yelled, directing people down a hallway.
After parting ways temporarily with the American heroes, the Masaki clan was enlisted to direct the entire population of Earth to an area where Superman had them shrunk and frozen in order to reawaken on a fixed, healthy Earth.
"I don't get this plan at all," Ryoko complained. "It seems stupid as hell to me."
"Well if something were to go wrong with whatever Miss Washu is helping Superman build, this way the people of this planet could be restored off world!" Mihoshi explained. "Oh, this way please! Single file!"
"I hate to say it," Ayeka moaned. "But I agree with Ryoko. This seems rather much. I don't like the idea of being a beautiful woman stuffed in a refrigerator. It seems unnatural and unfair!"
"Come on, he's Superman! He has to know what he is doing!" Sasami pointed out. "Isn't that what he is known for?"
"Hell if I know? Hey you!" Ryoko yelled at a brown haired man in a black suit. "Why are you trying to leave the line? The big blue boyscout says that everyone has to do this so he can save the planet or some crap."
The man observed Ryoko. Something about him made her feel uncomfortable. He looked like a middle age man, but his eyes were hardened and dark, much like the black gloves he wore. He moved himself back into the line and put his gloved hand out.
"I do apologize. I must have just been careless. Which way do you want me Miss…?" he asked, clearly inquiring about Ryoko's name.
'Dirty old perv.' "Ryoko. Get over there and don't cut in line."
"I assure you; you will see no further trouble from me today," he said with a chilling smile.
Ryoko made a note to put that face on her list of people to avoid, or more accurately to castrate if they got on her bad side.
"Hey Ryoko! Earth to Ryoko! We have to get the line moving! Who was that guy?" Mihoshi asked.
She looked back at the man one final time. "I don't know Mihoshi, but I don't like him."
"Well folks, I think this baby is ready to rewrite the laws of physics!" Washu cheered. "Nice work Lexy! You are smarter than I gave you credit for."
"Ignorant cow," Luthor muttered under his breath.
"I'd like to thank each and every one of you for all of your contributions to this project," Superman announced to the assembled scientists and doctors. Behind him, the completed Miracle Machine stood. "For this to work, you need to be able to trust me enough to keep you safe."
"You mean shrink us down like the other lost souls?" a blue skinned man in a helmet asked.
Superman nodded. "Yes Victor. It is the only way to ensure your safety."
Surprisingly, it was Luthor who made the first move to the shrinking device. "Listen to me alien, you know once we are restored, our historic team-up is over. All bets are off and I swear I will dedicate every ounce of my vast resources to seeing you brought down before me. Are we clear on that?"
"Understood Lex," Superman responded with a weak smile. With that, the members in the room were shrunk down one by one. Finally, all that was left was Washu. "Funny, I thought ladies were supposed to go first."
She shrugged. "I just wanted to make sure these clowns wouldn't do anything foolish. Are you sure you do not want my help? I mean, I've built galaxy destroying bullets and…"
"I'll be fine Miss Washu. Don't worry, it will all work itself out.
"Do me a favor, would you?" Washu asked on her way to the giant laser. "Don't let your guard down and feel free to use my lab's resources to assist you."
The Man of Steel shook her hand and put his hand on the switch. "Don't worry about your friends; Kara took care of them already."
"Good. Nightwing said to expect a happy ending from you. I'm holding you to that."
With that, the world of Washu Hakubi went dark.
"Pass the bread please! This is delicious!" Mihoshi begged.
Superman had did it: the world was fixed and the universe was back to normal. Time and space had readjusted to its original flux and all of the damage was fixed though the combined effort of nearly every able bodied person, be they super or not.
Well, almost all of the damage.
"Do you really need it you blonde buffoon?" Damian asked tauntingly. The comment caused Ryoko to laugh at her side of the Wayne dining room table. The younger Wayne shot her a look. "I don't know why you are laughing. You are a bigger buffoon then she is."
"Cut it out Damian!" Dick Grayson scolded. "I don't want this dinner to turn into a giant fight!"
"Bring him on!" Ryoko growled. "I'd prefer a fight to all this lounging around. There isn't even any sake here!"
Damian flashed a sinister smile. "I seem to recall telling you I wanted to shed blood Space Pirate. That urge has not subsided."
"Oh yeah half-pint?!"
"Ah, the sounds of a traditional Wayne dinner. I missed those sounds ever so much," Alfred quipped as he brought in a giant turkey while Sasami brought in the trimmings. "I'll have you all know, if I see a single knife thrown then you will not be able to sample any of Miss Jurai's stuffing. I thought I had tasted it all. Clearly I was mistaken."
Sasami began to blush. "Aw, stop it Mr. Pennyworth!"
"If Alfred says it, you know it has to be true. His food is to die for! Why do you think nobody else has ever tried to cook?" Dick laughed.
"Now Master Richard, you know that your attempts to cook have almost destroyed the Manor almost every time. Master Bruce was even worse," he chuckled.
The group was sitting down for a meal to celebrate the death of Darkseid and to honor the sacrifice of Batman. Alfred insisted upon it and managed to tidy up the dining room for one final meal before the Manor needed to be vacated to clean up the Black Glove's mess. Once the meal concluded, the two sets of families would part ways and return to their daily lives, or so it seems.
"Has anyone heard from Tim yet?" Barbara asked. "I know he went to check in with the Titans, but I thought he was going to arrive before dinner started."
"Master Timothy...isn't handling the loss of Master Bruce well. I think he needs some time to himself before he returns and I intend to let him have it."
"So what is going to happen to the city?" Mihoshi asked earnestly. "What happens to Batman and Robin?"
Dick and Alfred shared a look. "It is still far too early to say Miss Kuramitsu. Let us focus on celebrating Master Bruce's life and our victory against the forces of all evil."
Noboyuki grabbed his glass and raised it up. "To Bruce Wayne, savior of the universe."
The others followed his lead. A moment of silence followed, allowing all of those present to reflect on the events of the last few weeks of their lives.
"So Lord Katsuhito, where did you end up anyway after the Equation was cancelled out?" Washu asked curiously. The group had only just been reacquainted with Tenchi's grandfather, who was brought over by Superman as a thank you for all of the help they gave at the Fortress.
The former prince of Jurai drank deep from his glass. "Well when I came to I was in a giant American city…Metropolis I think. I met a very nice man named Bibbo and the two of us went to the pub for a nice soft drink called 'Soder.' You Americans have such interesting products here; it astounds me."
"Wait, instead of coming home you went to a bar?" Tenchi asked incredulously. "Did you even think about us?"
"Tenchi, you know that I do not know how to fly or teleport. How did you expect me to get back to Japan without any currency?" Yosho asked. "Besides, never question your elders Tenchi."
"…the only one here who isn't my elder is Damian," Tenchi muttered under his breath dejectedly.
A ringing noise filled the dining room. All eyes turned to Barbara, who took a quick glance at her phone. "It's my dad. I have to take this. I'm sorry for being rude Alfred."
"Go on Miss Gordon. We do not want the Commissioner to be kept waiting. He is no doubt just as worried about you as you are for him."
Barbara excused herself from the table. Ryoko leaned back on her chair to try to listen in, but was knocked back by Ayeka. "Hey! What was that for?!"
"You know it is rude to eavesdrop Ryoko! It is not nice to disrespect the head of the house!"
"Well I didn't know the redhead's dad was a cop! Old space pirate habit, no offense Kiyone," Ryoko explained. The Galaxy Police officer sighed and continued her meal.
Barbara wheeled back after her phone call was done and made herself known. "Dick, Alfred, I have to go. Dad wants to have a quiet night, just the two of us. Call me if you need anything. I'll stop by in the morning."
Dick got up and gave his friend a hug. "Great seeing you Babs. Tell your dad I said hello."
She spotted Washu in the corner of her eye and sighed. "Hakubi, you are a real piece of work, you know that?"
"I do try 'Oracle,'" she smiled. She put out her hand. "It was an honor and a pleasure Barbara."
Though she hesitated for a half a moment, Barbara couldn't help but smile. "Yeah, I guess it was. Just do us a favor and try not to get involved anymore."
"Oh now you are just tempting fate!"
Barbara bowed slightly to Mihoshi and Kiyone. "Thank you all for your help with this. We couldn't have done it without you."
Tears streamed down Mihoshi's face as if she were saying goodbye to a family member. "I'll miss you so muuuuuuuuch! Come visit us agaiiiiiinnnnnn!"
The bespectacled redhead blinked in confusion and smiled. With that, Barbara Gordon returned to the city she defended to spend her night with the man she loved above all else.
"So what comes next?" Noboyuki asked once she left. The table all turned to him and pondered the question. "I mean, do we just go our separate ways at this point?"
"That's a good question. Would you all want to keep a continued line of communication open? We can call it a Bat-Phone if you want to keep the theming going?" Washu offered. Dick turned to Alfred and started to laugh. "Let me guess; you have a Bat-Phone."
"Bruce had it in our study. It was an early way to contact Barbara's father directly when the Bat-Signal couldn't be used," Dick sniggered. "That was back in the good old days where I think Bruce was actually having fun when he went on patrol."
"Getting back to the matter at hand," Alfred interjected, coughing slightly. "I see no harm in keeping in touch if the situation requires it. However, we all have our roles in life. Ours is here in Gotham, and yours belongs in the stars," he said looking to Mihoshi and Kiyone. "And yours in Japan. It truly was an honor to work together to save the planet, but at the end of the day we all have our roles to play."
"Spoken like a true Shakespearian thespian!" Yosho cried. "Alfred speaks the truth. There are enough superheroes and costumed characters in this city. I have our family's shrine to tend to, Noboyuki has houses to design, and Tenchi has to continue his studies."
"What about us?" Mihoshi asked earnestly.
"We need to pay the rent," Kiyone reminded her, causing both of their heads to hang low.
"Well, in the end, we all know how to reach each other," Alfred pointed out. "May the next time we meet be under better circumstances!"
And thus, with the God of Evil slain, the genius scientist and her family returned to Japan. But evil always finds a way to sink back into the picture.
The only question is when it will happen.