Training and Trial
Training: Take One
AN: Some earlier scenes that I have finally gotten around to writing.
“It’s obvious you need training,” Batman said bluntly from the control room overlooking the simulator. “And with the power you have you're a danger to others until you learn control.”
Xander nodded absently and looked around the League simulation room. “The X-men could so sue you for this.”
Xander shook his head and examined the fake Metropolis with a slowly growing smile. “Not important, they're in another dimension and should probably nail the Star Trek people first.”
Batman glanced down to make sure the recorder was still running, he could run a search later to see what if any significance Xander's comments had.
“Computer,” Xander ordered, wanting to play with the Danger – err simulation room. “Reduce Metropolis to one twentieth actual size and replace all citizens with tiny Lex Luthors.”
“Complying,” the computer responded in a female voice. “Superman stress relief program 1.5 engaged.”
“Replace Lois Lane with Galatea for this simulation,” Xander ordered, noting the way the Daily Planet towered over the other buildings and the posters for Super Kong.
Xander roared and beat his chest as the city shrank around him, the faces of the now tiny androids began shifting and losing their hair.
Batman stared speechless as Xander crushed tiny Luthors beneath his feet before grabbing a small Galatea and climbing the Daily Planet building all the while pretending to be a giant ape.
Xander was right in the middle of swatting the Lexs, that were infringing on Iron Man's patents, out of the air when Superman and Wonder Woman arrived, followed by Galatea. “I'm playing the role of Fay Wray,” Galatea said with a grin.
“Apparently,” Superman replied, looking more than a little amused.
“Why is he acting like Grodd?” Wonder Woman asked.
“He's playing the role of King Kong,” Batman replied absently.
“Oh! I see it now. It just looks different using Metropolis,” Wonder Woman replied looking at Batman. “I had no idea your simulations were so entertaining.”
“It’s one of mine actually,” Superman said. “I've been enlarged before, so a tiny Metropolis is perfect training for the next time it happens.”
“And the King Kong setup?” she asked.
“That's happened to me before too.”
“And the tiny Lex Luthors?” She smirked.
“Great for stress relief,” Superman admitted guiltily.
One of the flying Iron Lexs sent an energy blast at Xander and missed, accidentally blasting the Galatea doll off his shoulder.
Unable to turn in time to catch her Xander watched her fall and turned back toward the miniatures harassing him.
“Warning! Strong gravitational flux detected in simulation!” the computer announced.
“What little control he has vanishes when he gets upset,” Batman pointed out.
Xander swiped his hand angrily and the flying droids imploded into tiny metal spheres that embedded themselves in the floor.
The buildings behind the Lexs didn't fare much better as the gravitational force unleashed carved huge chunks out of their infrastructure and they collapsed, taking nearby structures with them.
“Ouch,” Galatea said with a wince.
Batman nodded. “Ouch indeed. You can see why it’s imperative that he acquires at least a modicum of control as quickly as possible.”
“Later you can work with him some more,” Galatea said. “But for now, I'm going to take him to lunch and cheer him up.”
A down hearted Xander stared at the destruction around him until he felt a tap on his shoulder and found a tiny Galatea floating in front of his face. In all the excitement he'd forgotten that, unlike Lois or Fay, Galatea could fly.
The three and a half inch tall figure kissed the end of his nose, making him smile. Just before the original model spun him around for her own kiss.
The tiny flying girl watched sadly as the original carried him out the door, but a pulling motion from one of his hands pulled her out the door and after them just before they shut.
“Far too emotional,” Batman said flatly.
Training: Take 12
Xander floated on a metal disc, while several others were alternately used to attack various robots or deflect energy attacks or items thrown at him.
Batman added some random civilians to the simulation and Xander adapted, widening his circle to include them in its protection.
In the simulation control room the entire group who had been there for his arrival along with Galatea and J’onn watched the battle.
“Wow, Xander's come a long way from drunk on the ceiling and unable to resist the gravitational pull from T's chest,” Flash teased.
“He still can’t,” Galatea smirked.
“How is he doing that?” Superman asked. “I thought he manipulated gravity, not metal.”
“He said revealing your strengths and weaknesses was one of the few things you should never do, so he’s using his ability to manipulate gravity to look like he can only manipulate metal. Said if he was ever forced to wear the tights he’d name himself something to do with that so he’d always be one step ahead of everyone,” Galatea explained with a grin.
Batman cleared his throat to get everyone's attention. “Adding stressful emotive situation now.”
One of the civilians being protected whipped out a pistol from her purse and shot him in the back... To no effect.
“He had a metal shield under his shirt,” Batman said with a hint of admiration. “I didn't even see him move it there.”
“Seems a bit paranoid,” GL said.
“If it gets used, then it’s not paranoid,” Batman said firmly, causing almost everyone to roll their eyes.
Xander glanced back and the woman with a gun vanished and a small superdense metallic sphere embedded itself in the floor.
J'onn winced. “If he deems you a threat he is far more ruthless than any of us in removing the threat.”
“All that power in the hands of someone who values life so little,” GL sighed.
Galatea snorted. “All that power in the hands of someone who values life so much he'd rather get blood on his hands than allow someone evil to go around spilling it.”
“If we acted like that, we'd be no better than they are,” Superman said, thinking about how things could escalate and trying not to picture the ocean of blood he could so easily spill if he allowed himself to cross that line.
“Book of Xander, Chapter 3, Verse 2,” Galatea said. “Trust not they who cannot tell the difference between shedding blood to protect others and shedding blood because they can. For they are blind, seeing no difference between a mother killing to protect her child and a lunatic killing the same child for fun.”
Superman sighed. “Ok, I may have oversimplified. What I meant is that we ourselves can't afford to deviate from a strict code of conduct or we run the risk of becoming the very thing we fight against. The worst thing about evil isn't the pain it causes or the damage it does, it’s the way it can turn those fighting it into copies of itself.”
Wonder Woman winced and not for the first time reflected on the truth of what Xander had said to her on arrival.
“Book of Xander, Chapter 4, Verse 6 – If the only way to destroy the evil is by becoming it, remember to include your own destruction in the plans. Sometimes destroying evil requires sacrifice. But unless it’s self sacrifice you aren't destroying evil, merely shifting it around a bit.” Galatea grinned.
Superman nodded at her words and looked thoughtful.
“What’s Chapter 2, Verse 1?” Flash asked, picking one at random.
“He who smelt it has a high probability of being the one who dealt it,” Galatea said and waited for everyone to finish either giggling or scoffing before she continued. “Translated, beware one who sees evil everywhere they look – chances are they are looking in a mirror.”
Flash sniffed and wiped a tear from his eye. “It’s so nice to meet a fellow philosopher after being stuck as the sole voice of reason around here.”
No one could tell if Flash was joking or not, and many were slightly disturbed at the thought that there was a deeper meaning in his jokes than they had thought at the time.
“Book of Xander, Chapter 1, Verse 2?” Shayera requested curiously.
“Blood is only thicker than water after exposure to air.”
Everyone exchanged glances, hoping someone else had understood that one.
Galatea smiled. “Translated...” she drawled, and was gratified to see everyone's interest. “The bonds that bind together those you've shed blood for and with are greater than those to the people who merely share the blood in your veins. They are your true family.”
Flash gave Galatea a big thumbs up while Batman did his stone face impersonation and others blushed.
Batman decided to change the subject rather than deal with any of the emotions it brought up, and gave a brief thanks to any deity that was listening that Green Arrow wasn't here.
“What's Chapter 1, Verse 1?”
“The first rule of battle is, don't die,” Galatea said, and noticed everyone was waiting knowing more was coming. “Death isn't when your heart stops beating and you stop breathing. Death is when you've allowed evil to overwhelm all the good you've done. Those who go the grave with their heads held high and the world better for their existence need never fear death for they are immortal.”
Wonder Woman shivered. “Does anyone else here feel like storming the gates of Tartarus?” she asked, her warrior spirit craving battle to put truth to the words she'd just heard.
A sea of hands went up.
“No storming Hell!” Batman ordered and received a chorus of disappointed awws. “We have too much good we need to do on Earth before we can even consider that.”
There was a round of nods at that, and Batman wondered when he'd be able to get away and visit Cranston as he'd finally located him in the Andes.
* * *
Hades glanced around his throne room and wondered why he felt a chill. Throwing another dozen damned souls on the fire he returned to reading the Harry Potter series and wondered why evil was getting off lightly and good was paying the price in it. Maybe that JK Rowling woman wanted to encourage evil he pondered, and not for the first time, to himself.
* * *
“Ok, second test,” Batman announced, bringing everyone's attention back to Xander.
The Joker and Harley popped out of an alley near Xander, but before they could even get off a quip their heads vanished and they fell over.
“Man sure does hate those two,” Flash said whistling softly.
“I'm not sure he does,” Batman replied.
“He just imploded their heads,” Shayera pointed out. “I'm not positive but I'm pretty sure that’s a universal sign of dislike,” she finished sarcastically.
“Watch,” Batman said grimly.
A pair of rodeo clowns came out of an alley several blocks in front of Xander and the people he was protecting. Xander gave no sign that he saw them, but their heads imploded and they fell back into the shadows.
“Did he even notice them?” GL asked.
“Not consciously,” Superman replied. “He showed no notice of them at all that I could tell.”
“Watch,” Batman ordered as he input some changes in the scenario.
Xander dropped the civilians off at a police station and continued on into the suburbs, as he passed a birthday party the clown in the backyard fell over headless much to the children's delight.
“He doesn't have to be aware of them, any clown within a quarter of a mile around him loses its head.”
“He's got a clown cranial compression field around him?” J’onn asked in disbelief.
“Basically,” Batman admitted. “It’s even on when he's asleep or distracted. I ran some robots wearing clown makeup past Galatea's room last night and their heads vanished.”
“I'd better alert Creeper,” Flash said quickly, not wanting Xander to be responsible for a hero’s death.
“Already taken care of. I've also sent out an email to everyone to avoid looking like a clown,” Batman said.
“What about mimes?” Flash asked, and then ordered the computer before anyone could answer, “Computer, give us a couple of dozen mimes for violent disposal.”
“Batman program 12.3 initiated,” the computer replied, to a group of amused heroes.
“I don't like mimes,” Batman growled before a bunch of mimes started appearing in the simulator and vanishing, leaving behind only pairs of black shoes.
“He really doesn't like mimes,” Wonder Woman observed blandly, as everyone avoided looking at Batman who wore a very creepy grin.
“Back to testing,” Superman said, wishing he could wipe the last ten seconds from his memory.
Batman nodded, all business again much to everyone's relief.
“Computer institute maximum safety protocols then initiate program emotive tests 2.”
“Station gravity matrices at full power. Backup gravity matrices at full power. Reinforcing simulator room. Station's energy core readied for overload conditions as needed. Force screens 1-5 activated, initiating emotive tests 2.”
Everyone looked over at Batman, wondering if all this was necessary as the simulation began.
The lights flickered like the simulation was ending and Xander turned toward the door just in time to see a bloody and badly injured Galatea fall through the doorway and hit the ground with a thud. The pain in his eyes was heartbreaking to watch as he scrambled to hold Galatea's inert form.
The door had closed behind her and something hit it, denting the metal inward. The walls surrounding the walls came apart as a massive grey figure tore it apart in order to enter the room.
“Doomsday,” Superman whispered with a touch of dread.
The thud of the door falling to the floor roused Xander as he stared at the towering figure, now sporting glowing green kryptonite spikes from its elbows, knees and between its knuckles.
“Singularity detected,” the computer announced.
Shayera spoke for everyone when she said, “You've got to be shitting me.”
* * *
Xander woke a week later, having almost killed himself crushing the robot Doomsday into a micro black hole which had disappeared as soon as Xander lost consciousness.
Galatea had been there when he woke up, and once he was convinced they weren't in heaven he'd planned a truly vicious payback on the 'Bathole' as he'd called him.
Xander sent Valentine’s Day invitations and gifts in Batman's name to every female he was remotely close to.
A week later Batman still hadn't apologized, but he'd come close. He'd explained his reasons, by phone of course... He quite liked his head right where it was, and even though Xander could see his side of things he still told Alfred on him.
Batman apologized the next day.
Xander was declared safe to be around civilians, as long as the area was scanned and monitored for clowns first.
It was another two weeks before Xander stopped being clingy.
Galatea didn't mind at all. AN: And something from later in the timeline after the first and last appearance of Darkseid. Trial
Xander looked around the courtroom blurrily.
“And as you can see, he shows no remorse whatsoever,” a grey haired man said as Xander yawned.
“Objection,” a much younger lawyer exclaimed, while paging through a number of documents.
“The defendant has no clue what’s going on and has been drugged unconscious for the last three days. He is no doubt still only half awake.”
“Sustained,” the judge announced and slammed the gavel down.
Xander blinked rapidly, trying to clear the sleep from his eyes. “I need coffee,” he mumbled.
The judge nodded. “I'll declare a fifteen minute recess to allow Mr. Harris to confer with his lawyer and drink some coffee.”
The protests from the prosecutor were over ruled by the Judge, who didn't seem to like this whole setup and even the Jury was muttering.
Xander found he was unable to leave his seat as the defendant’s box to the left of the Judge was walled in with some clear material.
“I'm not sure how I'm supposed to confer or have coffee delivered while I'm trapped in here,” Xander said.
The young man who Xander assumed was his lawyer approached and slid a cup of coffee through an ingenious drawer and dumb waiter system that due to the fact that the material was nearly invisible made him look like a telekinetically gifted mime.
Xander inhaled the cup with a smile and one last yawn. “Ok, I'm awake enough to absorb some facts now. What's going on?”
“I'm Jim Maybourne, and I'm your lawyer,” the young man explained.
“And what am I being charged with?” Xander asked.
“First degree murder,” Jim said seriously.
“This makes no sense,” Xander said after a moment of thought.
“Why not?” Jim asked.
“Well, one – the so called murder took place in outer space. Meaning not on US soil and two, it was self defense.”
“That doesn't matter,” the lawyer explained. “As long as one of the parties is American, the law says the US can try the case.”
“Darkseid was a US citizen?” Xander exclaimed loudly, drawing everyone's attention.
“Ummm, no – you are.”
“Since when? I don't recall applying for citizenship.” Xander frowned.
“Aren't you from California?” Jim asked nervously.
“Yeah, but not a California on this planet,” Xander explained.
“So basically they kidnapped me, and are trying me for crimes committed outside the US on an alien life form that’s only connection to the US is his attempts to depopulate it.”
“I know just what to do,” Jim assured him and returned to the defense table.
“Are we ready to proceed?” the Judge asked, seeing everyone back in position and Xander looking awake and alert.
“Xander Harris, you are accused of committing murder in the first degree – how do you plead?” the Judge asked.
“Your honor, my client would like to plead guilty,” the defense attorney called out.
“Objection!” Xander shouted.
“You're objecting to your own plea?” The Judge blinked.
“Considering we never discussed a plea and we just discussed some basic errors made that make all of this moot, yes,” Xander replied.
“What errors, Mr. Harris?”
“Well for one thing, the ‘crime’ took place in Outer Space and neither Darkseid nor myself are US Citizens or were looking to apply for citizenship. So I'm wondering where this court is getting the authority to try me.”
“Darkseid, what does he have to do with anything? And aren't you from California? There are recordings of you mentioning it,” the Judge questioned.
“Well, the man I'm accused of murdering is Darkseid. He teleported into my girlfriend's room on the Watch Tower with a kryptonite dagger and despite my warnings he tried to attack me, so I was forced to use a lethal defense. I am from California, but not from this planet's California.”
“I see. Counsel's please approach the bench,” the Judge said coldly.
The two nervous lawyers approached and a furious argument broke out in harsh whispers that lasted for several minutes.
“I find that the charges hold no weight in this case, and find the plaintiff innocent of all wrongdoing. Or I would if this was a legal trial, that being said – Mr. Harris, you are free to go,” the Judge announced.
Xander smiled and stood up, only to hit his head on the nearly invisible box he was trapped in. “Ouch! Damnit! Sorry, your honor.”
“What do they have you in?” the Judge asked.
“No idea. I went to sleep in my bed and woke up here being tried for murder.”
“If Judge Anderson hadn't gotten sick I wouldn't have been involved in this case and I'm left wondering if why they looked so panicked when I entered the room is because they had something planned. Anderson has made some questionable rulings as of late so it may just be time for him to retire.”
Two men in hazard suits entered and began tinkering with Xander's cell.
“We'll have you free in a moment,” one promised before Xander heard a hissing noise and some kind of yellow gas flooded the cell.
“Oops, we seem to have released the knockout gas. We'll have to take him back to the labs to release him,” the other said.
Xander would have sighed, but he was currently holding his breath as he increased the weight of the gas that got close to him a thousand fold, making it form a liquid at the bottom of his cell.
The gas slowly thinned out, much to the surprise of the men in the hazmat suits. “How?” one asked. “The gas isn't metallic.”
Xander raised an eyebrow and made some vague handsigns that the Judge didn't understand.
“If you can free yourself, I'd suggest doing so.”
“The prisoner's cell is made of synthetic diamond plates,” one of the hazmat guys explained. “There is nothing metallic in them for his power to affect.”
Xander placed his palm on the glass and concentrated for a moment. The diamond plate shattered and he stepped out, avoiding touching the yellow liquid he was keeping under a heavy gravity field.
Taking a deep breath Xander relaxed a little.
“How? That cell was built to keep a magnakinetic restrained!” one of the hazmat suited men exclaimed.
Xander raised an eyebrow and lied glibly, “The bonds holding molecules together are magnetic, they repulse and attract, so at close range they can be disrupted. Really takes it out of a guy though.”
“I apologize for the inconvenience Mr. Harris. I have no idea what was planned here, but rest assured it will be investigated.” AN: Thank dogodma for his typing this up for me!