Time to regroup.
Disclaimer:See first chapter.
Footsteps echoed through the silent, bright lit and sunny hallway. The attractive woman in the severe cut business suit, walked with long, confident and strong strides. She knocked once at the massive door and went in.
She walked to within a couple of feet from the massive desk. She waited for the bald man to acknowledge her presence. She stood at attention. Had this been the army she would have worn a different uniform, otherwise there was no difference between reporting to Lex Luthor or reporting to a commanding officer.
"What happened?" the question was a command.
"It was a cluster duck from the get go." she said.
He made a gesture for her to go on.
"It started to go wrong from the start. Garfield Lynns was intercepted by Batman and Nightwing, before he had a chance to really get going. For once Lynns stuck to his end of the plan. We can't even blame him for dereliction of duty. Nightwing went after him in the air. He used a Jet pack. He was a lot better in the air, our intel on him said that he was a master of areal combat, he won without much trouble."
"Where is he now?" Lex asked.
"They buried him in the G.P.D. system. That's a good sign to me, it means that he's keeping his mouth shut." she explained.
"Continue. I'm sure the screw ups didn't end there." he said.
"No. They didn't. There must have been an intercept, or a leak. There were three separate parties in town trying to take advantage. Ra's al Ghul and his League of Assassins, Sir Edmund Dorrance and his Ghost Dragons and the third was a surprise. Darkseid sent in his Parademons. What we're not sure of at this time, is if this came from Darkseid, or from one of his lieutenants." she continued with her report.
"Its from Darkseid. Trust me on this. His lieutenants may think they're acting on their own initiative from time to time, but it's always been my experience that its either by his consent, or they were manipulated to into thinking they were doing it on their own. He's a manipulator of the first order. No doubt about it. Please go on." Lex added.
"I think we have a leak, all these forces, all of them converging on the same city, same street at the same time...very suspicious." she said.
"How did you explain the forces we sent to Gotham?" he asked.
"We used an old standby. We blamed it on a rouge program left over from Brainiac. It took over all our power armor squads and sent them off to Gotham. We're not sure why? But we thanked the Justice League for their assistance for stopping the rouge elements and for returning our valued employees and property to us, mostly unharmed." she explained.
"Find the leak." he commanded
"Yes sir." she said.
"What properties did we pick up?" he asked.
"Not as many as we thought we would be able to get." she answered.
"Why not?" he demanded.
"We were beaten to the punch by Wayne Enterprises. We offered the Fire sale prices, they offered full market price. They now own most of the street." she explained.
"That is not acceptable. Find a solution." he ordered. He turned his back dismissing her and looked out over the skyline of the city of Metropolis. His city, soon Gotham will join it. There would have to be a way to get that playboy out of the way. More likely it would have to be the financial advisers. The playboy himself was not a factor. Give him enough money and women and he would slide into obscurity.
Batcave beneath Wayne Manor
Bruce Wayne was doing something that had taken the majority of his time in the past. He was brooding. He was productively brooding which was different than just brooding. He was channeling his brood into his work. For the last week he and his family had been run ragged stopping the city from self destructing.
If it wasn't for the physical boost from what he still called the Fate fiasco, he would have been in bed sleeping trying to recover from a severe case of exhaustion. The rest were able to recover even more quickly than he. So he channeled their energy into more training.
Xander was now fully trained with the War suit. Too bad there wasn't a full combat War suit operational. They were undergoing repair. All of them, even Barbara had to put on the suit and join them on the battlefield in the end. Crime alley was just that, a Battlefield. Most of the building were destroyed after several days of constant fighting.
The only thing that saved the city from utter chaos was the way everyone in the city pulled together to keep the residents of Arkham and Blackgate inside. Everyone recognized that if the inmates escaped, they would have had to evacuate the city again. No one wanted that to happen so soon after No Man's Land.
The JSA took on the meta human threat. That was the easy part. Every meta human with a grudge, went after America's premier super powered team the JSA. That's where the glory was found. Fighting against the bat guaranteed you pain and more pain. The JSA were the humane crime fighters. He had worked very hard to cultivate that image. He was proud to see it was working.
He was also proud of the way his family operated under pressure. Even Alfred had come out and helped in his own search and rescue power armor suit. Xander had joked that if he was gonna have everyone training on the darn things then so should Alfred. He even joked about the features he'd put on the armor. Like a portable stretcher tray to serve the other armors. Well maybe not a service tray like he thought, but the stretcher idea worked great. A self powered companion piece that traveled with the armor to remove those injured in comba, or destroyed but still expensive armor from the field. Which was worth its weight in gold.
All evidence pointed to Lex Luthor and LexCorp. Harvey Bullock had come close a couple of times to cracking Lynns, but Lynns stuck to his guns and kept his mouth shut. It took the help of Jon Jonz to ferret out the information. Luthor had payed a lot of money, or someone from his organization did. The down payment was enough for Lynns to retire on, even if Lex welshed on the rest and knowing him he'll find a way, incomplete mission or something like it. The smart thing he did was to pay enough up front to keep Firefly's mouth shut.
The League had kept the really dangerous nuts outside the city. He dreaded the damage a full scale battle would have generated between the League and some of the more dangerous foes. Such a battle would have leveled the city. That's why the League always had on it a woman in skimpy outfit. Super villain saw a beautiful woman wearing what would amount to a swimsuit or Lingerie. Super villain chased beautiful woman. Beautiful woman clobbered idiotic Super villain away from built up urban centers.
It never failed, the more powerful the opponent the less they had between their ears. Superman and Jon didn't count. They were aliens. The rest, just overpowered children playing with their fingers on the button of atomic warheads. There were very few really smart and dangerous villains. Most of those coincidentally, were aliens. What a surprise.
He continued to study the reports Barbara compiled for him while he was sleeping. These days he was the underpowered one on the team. Underpowered compared to the rest. Although he noticed stamina wise he was almost at the same level. He recovered at the same rate. Xander still had twice the physical prowess of anyone, but he also was the one who had the lion's share of the primal energy. He could dip deeper into that energy, to power his physical activity and the spells he cast. It was another energy reserve that the other had, that he was happy doing without.
He did not need anything to cloud his judgment. It may not cloud his intelligence, but he was certain his emotions would be effected. He could not tell if that was the case with Xander when he shot the Joker, or if that was Xander himself. Certainly his environment had an effect on his judgment. Where he came from, he was fighting on the front lines of a war. Kill or be killed. He hopped that now with Dick's memories fully restored that there wouldn't be a repeat of that incident.
For now he was happy with the way he handled himself. He had pulled his weight. He may have been more brutal than he would have liked, but he would learn. He didn't kill or dismember any humans. Except for the Parademons and those he himself fought survived. For now he would let the other work on him to moderate his impulses.
Right now he and the girls were having a picnic. It was the first breather they had in over a week of high intensity action.
End Book II of the Nightwing series-Xander-Wing.