Exposition and a small fight
She woke up quickly, a skill she learned a long time ago out of necessity. She groaned and opened her eyes to take in the room around her. She, Diana Prince of Themiscyra, had fallen asleep on the job. Sure, Abby would've forgiven her, somewhat, but if this had been Themiscyra, then she would not have escaped from her punishment unwounded. Especially given who it is that she is guarding.
She jumped, cursing her inattentiveness again, even if it was only J'onn. She looked over at the green-skinned telepath and sighed. "She was a great warrior I knew once. She visited Themiscyra before I left. She never treated me as some spoiled princess. In fact, she treated every Amazon the same until she knew them, even my mother, Queen Hippolyta." A small smile graced her face as she remembered one particular moment. She and her sister, Donna, had been speechless when she saw Abby disrespect their mother. She'd been outraged, until Abby told them one reason why she was so disrespectful. That, in her mind, the queen had forgotten one of the most important facts about her existence: That she wasn't just
a warrior-queen, but also a mother and a woman, and above all, human, like any other person on the island, minus her.
After a moment, J'onn said, "Our guest is awake."
When the chest on the bed froze, Diana allowed herself a smile not born of nostalgia. After another moment, she said, "What gave me away?"
"I have fought members of your kind before." J'onn said simply.
The girl nodded and opened her eyes. "I see. That explains why I was bound at both wrists, and my guesses explain the rest." She sat up and looked over at Diana. "I've been thinking about what you said. And, yes, I will stop pretending, a little. Not enough to be obvious if you meet me in the future, but enough to be informal. It will lessen the strain in the future." Her voice was still regal and stiff, but the diction was a bit of a start.
After a moment of silence, he asked, "How do you know English?"
She smiled at him. "I am, not entirely sure. I could be using the Lantern's ring's translator circuits, or I could be using you with your own telepathic mind as a general translation pathway. We may never know."
There was a click and she stretched, showing the pair of handcuffs that had connected her to the hospital bed had been unlocked. When she was done stretching, she grabbed the cuffs, pulled her hair into a thick ponytail, and shoved the cuffs onto it, using them like slightly worn scrunchies. She turned, saw the questions on Diana's face, and smiled. She had such a warm smile. "A woman's allowed to have some quirks, isn't she?" She said it as if she were explaining the most obvious thing in the world, but not quite being condescending. She wasn't sure how the young woman on the bed was doing it, but she was. She slid off the bed, and they were both struck by what she truly looked like standing on her own.
She was short, about 5'3", her muscled but emaciated frame showing a frail flower with hidden thorns, emerald eyes sparkling with life that matched the purple and gold flecks. Her hair was oddly beautiful, alternating it's colors between black and white. Her face was a simple one. The face of a child, but with a hint of the awkwardness of puberty, that transitional state women have between cute and sweet, and beautiful and attractive. On her wrists were intricate runic tattoos. Along her left arm was another tattoo. This one didn't have the beauty and intricacy of the other two, seeming to be more of a DIY hack job on the level of cave paintings. Still, it had enough skill and detail in it to allow for recognizing some of the stylized symbols. One was a spider, several were circles, but most she could not recognize.
Her stomach rumbled, announcing to the that she required sustenance. Diana smiled at her. "Let's get you something to eat."
J'onn stiffened, and the girl must've noticed. "I am not going to attempt anything. It would be idiotic to do so. I simply wish to have some food."
Seemingly as always, Batman appeared out of thin air and said sternly "If you behave, I'll escort you to our cafeteria."
She smiled at him, nodded, and gestured for him to lead the way.
After Batman had escorted the girl to the Mess Hall, J'onn rounded on Diana. "Are you seriously thinking of trusting her?"
"Yes, I am." She said, projecting her natural stubbornness to him to see if he'd get the message.
"She's not trustworthy."
"And why not?" She demanded.
"Do you know what her kind has done?" His steely gaze bore down on her. "Her kind does nothing but conquer and destroy. Her only purpose is to kill the enemies of her lord, and ensure the cooperation of his allies. She is nothing but a weapon."
"At least give her a chance before you condemn her!" Diana yelled.
J'onn was silent for a second, then nodded slightly before turning to leave.
In the cafeteria, Batman watched the girl carefully as she shoveled food down her throat like there was no tomorrow. Eventually he asked her something that had been bugging him. "Why'd you switch?"
She gave him a look that told him to wait while she chewed and swallowed. Then she spoke, her voice still stiff. "I'm guessing you are talking about my speech when I first woke up." At his nod, she continued. "My reasoning is simple. I don't trust you because I don't know you yet. Therefore, I wish to be able to disappear if the need arises. If I act normally, then you will be able to find me more easily." She thought for a moment, then added, "That, and the martian doesn't like me. His presence told me that I still need to pretend. I dislike it, because it forces me to be formal, but it is better this way. I think you understand this, somewhat."
He raised an eyebrow, but gave no other indication that he understood the feeling. To be honest, he felt exactly like that when he had to go to social functions as Bruce Wayne. "Why doesn't he like you?"
"Because his people never had good relations with those of the planet I have come from. I have never had good relations with them either, but he doesn't know that because I closed him off before he found it." She shrugged, the action bringing attention to her arm.
He noted and filed away the fact of how she went out of her way to differentiate herself from those of 'her' people. "What do your tattoos mean?"
"The marks on my wrists don't have any meaning that I know of, but the marks on my arm are the tales of my people." She smiled at him and adopted a faintly Russian accent. "This one" she pointed at the stylized spider "is the man of spiders. He fought for truth and justice, even while the peacekeepers hunted him for doing their job. He swung along lines of spider's silk and crawled the walls and shadows as well as any spider. His one trait that was not like the spiders was that he never stopped talking." She pointed at a circle with three angular lines creating a loop inside it. "This one is for the fantastic men and woman who saved their world as often as they saved their city. They were rather elemental in their bearing. The men were of fire, earth, and water, and the woman was of the air."
"How were they elemental?" He asked, genuinely curious.
"The man of fire could brave the hottest fires without a single burn, the man of earth could be mistaken for a walking boulder of an orange hue, the man of water could stretch and reshape his body, but never to the point of changing what he was." at his look, she translated. "He wasn't a shapeshifter, he simply could mold his body like a body of water. The woman of air could be as invisible as the wind, and could also create fields of solid force."
She moved her finger to a circle that reminded him of a scoped rifle's crosshairs. "This is for the abandoned. The men and women who fought for the very society that shunned them, even when they are they next evolution of their race. They were called freaks, abominations, demons, aberrations." She gave him a smile. "The sort of people I would fit in with. I call myself Aberration, after all, because that is what I am."
She moved her finger to a battle-axe and a circle and continued without letting him ask about her comment. "This is the one I chose for Buffalo's Army. It was an army of girls becoming women, who were chosen by the universe's lots for early and violent deaths. They were super-soldiers designated to keep the world safe, and they craved the fight. Every single one, including the ones who denied it. I used to be a part of her army, but then I was removed in the same way that any member would be removed."
"Death." She rushed to assure him. "It is never death at the hands of the leaders, they
strive to keep their troops alive. Most often, they simply die in battle. And in Buffalo's Army, a death is never a simple thing. There is always retribution for the killers, sometimes at the hands of Buffalo herself."
"Sounds like the last person you'd want to cross." He remarked.
She nodded. "Not many did and lived. I never treated her like a goddess, the way many did. It's partly because I had seen her at her worst times, but it was mostly because I thought she needed someone who didn't treat her like some untouchable goddess, but rather as the fallible creature she was."
Then she smiled, and moved to another section. "But these are some of my favorites." She pointed at Ж. "This one is for the woman of wonder. She fought for truth and justice just as the man of spiders and her personal friend, the man of steel," she pointed at a small rotated diamond. "had always done. She and her friends sometimes lost battles, but always won the day in the end. Now, while she and her friend, the man of steel, were fairly simple characters, the man of steel had a best friend." she moved to a small blotch of black nearby the two. "He was the man of bats, and the man of bats was never simple." Batman noticed that her speech was becoming less stiff and her Russian accent was becoming more pronounced. She liked this 'Man of bats' character. "Part of what makes him interesting was that he had lost his innocence at a young age when he witnessed an unspeakable violence, and that turned him into a protector. He never wanted another child to suffer the same fate. He was often a quiet man. In some of the tales I've heard about him, he was as unspeaking as a man known as Angel, but I never believed them. After all, he had many friends and often made jokes and plays on his words. While he wasn't as quick to insult as Buffalo, he was just as sharp-tongued as the man of spiders, and twice as effective as a hunter. He hunted those who hurt the innocent, and always kept a part of his innocence by never turning into those he hunted himself." Her face was aglow with enthusiasm and joy and her accent was thick as molasses. She was enjoying telling him about the man of bats.
She would have continued but there was a small explosion nearby, and the blast made enough vibration to distract her at the very least. What Bruce wasn't exactly expecting was for her to start cursing in Russian, fluently.
She ran off, possibly going after the explosion's source. Batman followed, and nearly lost her three turns in. Damn, she was fast.
The second that the alarms went off because of the explosion, Hal Jordan went straight to security monitors. It took him a few seconds to get there, but then he saw the carnage being wrought by four humanoids ('Apokoliptians' his ring corrected him), and he went straight for the fight. His team were under attack, and he could help.
But what he saw when he got there brought him up short. The situation was already contained.
The little girl from earlier was sitting on them with an odd look on her face. It was a combination of thunderous anger, happiness, disappointment, and extreme pride.
To her left was Diana, her cheek beginning to bruise. He gave an involuntary shiver. He didn't want to meet the thing that could give the immortal a bruise. A short distance away, Wally was getting up groaning and clutching his neck. He'd seen that often enough in high school to know he'd been clotheslined. Next to him was Superman, clutching his purpling neck. Had he been choked?!
"What the hell happened here?" He asked.
The girl directed her attention at him. "I'd think that would be obvious, Green Lantern." She said. Her voice wasn't stiff like it had been a few days ago. "Now, what I want to know is why." She wiggled in place, put out her arms as if for stability, and jumped in place, waking up the four Apokoliptians, who were groaning like they'd just been sent through the blender. She got off of them and looked right at them. She smiled, drew in a breath, and in a bellow that belied her stature, ranted, "UP AND AT 'EM!! WAKE UP, WAKE UP, LIKE THE WORLD'S ENDING ON YOU! LET'S GO LET'S GO!! ON YOUR FEET!!"
They groaned like they wanted to either go back to sleep or die but got up anyway. Then she herded them to the wall, before noticing the window. She gave them a hard glare that obviously said "Stay put or I will kill you." Then she went to it. She gasped slightly in awe. The military commander dropped from her stance, and in her place was a little girl, looking at a planet from space in wonder. In fact, her eyes were beginning to tear.
"I found it." She said softly.
That got his attention. "Found what?"
"Paradise." She said simply.
After several minutes of silence, one of the Apokoliptians at the wall cried out, "Oh, for LDS's sake! Paradise doesn't exist Abberation!"
Her gaze went form awe-filled at the window to bearing down on him with a vengeance. "I will believe what I will believe." She said coldly. "Do I make fun of you for needing a night light, Dax'l?"
He froze. The other two were holding back grins and trying really hard not to laugh. "Um, no." He said softly, embarrassed.
"Good." She turned businesslike and went up to them. She turned to the one on the right and asked, "So, tell me Rix," she paused as her face softened. "How bad is it?"
He swallowed, fidgeted, then sighed and said, "It's been a long while. The longest time yet."
She raised her eyebrows. "It's only been, what, 3 days, and I've been a castaway for the longest I've ever been on your end?" At his nod, she continued incredulously. "I've had infintismally short missions go on for longer than this!"
He nodded again. Probably just agreeing with her to stay out of trouble.
"You know what the first thing you're going to do is? Slap them for me!"
The third Apokoliptian swallowed, visibly gathered up his courage as she continued to rant, then asked, "'Slap them for me'?" he questioned. "Do you mean to say that, you're not coming back with us?"
She stopped and looked at him, surprised. "Why would I? LDS has done nothing for me that I couldn't do if I'd never ended up on Apok, and I've been looking for Paradise ever since I ended up there. Now that I've finally found it, I'm not going to just lead the tyrant there by going back just to get my family that can just follow me there. I wanna keep him as far away from Paradise as possible! The microt
that he lays eye on the mudball he'll turn it into Netu!!"
"This is UNACCEPTABLE!" Hal looked down at the Apokoliptian struggling on the floor. He was livid and struggling against the amazon's golden lasso. Diana had probably lassoed him before she'd been hit. "I will not stand for this blatant disregard for Lord Darkseid!"
"Well then it's a good thing you aren't standing, isn't it?" She asked with a smirk.
Hal looked up at her, eyebrows raised. "Now, mind telling us what's going on?" He asked.
She looked at him and shrugged. "Not much to tell. According to them, I'm abandoning my god, being disrespectful of him, abandoning my calling, yada yada yada, and you know what?" She paused. "I'm tired of it all. I'm tired of having to be paranoid. I'm tired of having to be respectful to LDS! I'm tired of all the killing
!!!" She strode right up to the guy that was tied up and kicked him hard. With him knocked out, she scoffed at him disdainfully and sat on him. "Well," her mood brightened a little. "At least I don't have to ask you who he was. And the answer to the problem he presents is simple."
"What's that?" The one on the right, Rix, asked.
She smiled a humorless smile at him. She looked tired, no, old
. "Take the scenic route back to Apok, then dump him on a hostile planet without most of his equipment. Odds are, he'll starve or be killed by a wild creature by the time you get back. And make sure that the locations are scrambled as you go, so that no one can try to get him, or me, back to Apok before he dies or before I'm ready for them."
They nodded, agreeing to her plan. She untied him and let them retie him as she gave the lasso back to Diana.
"Thanks for letting me borrow it." Was it just him, or did she wink at her?
Wonder Woman smiled kindly and nodded as she took it back.
When the Apokoliptians were ready to leave, she said, "You know something?"
They stopped to look at her expectantly.
She smiled. "I'm proud of you. All of you. Even if you are occasionally misguided, you are some of the greatest beings I have ever had the honor of training."
They smiled. Then the one she'd called Dax'l asked, "You know, I've heard that you've been searching for Paradise with an obsession, but I've never really heard exactly what it is."
She smiled softly. "Well, there's too much to tell. But the most important things to me about it right now are three F's. Freedom, Family, and Food."
He looked confused by that last one. "Food?"
She took on an air of indignity. "Yeah, food! As in, good
food, stuff that's light years beyond what they have on Apok."
He nodded dubiously. "I will take your word for it."
A huge ring of light that looked like a tunnel suddenly appeared in front of them, and they walked in one by one. The last one turned back and said, "You take care now, ya hear?!"
She smiled at him. "Will do!"
She sagged, then flopped into his huge pillow-construct, out cold.
A/N: Hey all! Well, I hope you liked my little exposition. I tried not to go on for too long, and I had to tailor it a little, but I got it to work. Please, tell me what you think of it all.
Oh, and next chapter, I'm getting her to Paradise! Probably not what you think, though. *Evil Snicker*
Here's how the fight went from her side, but only from after she showed up. This is from after she sees them fighting the Leaguers:
A feeling of pride flashed through her, even as she prepared to take them out. She raised her arm, twirling the rope like a stereotypical cowboy, and let fly. When she pulled back on the rope, the noose tightened around the Apokoliptian she'd been aiming for, and sent him flying. Then she did what came naturally to her: used him like a ball and chain.
She twirled the rope, slamming him into the first two, and for the third, she waited until the guy was right behind her, then yanked the rope forward, sending him flying in a straight arc right into Mr. 3. Hey, simple, but efficient.
From what she could hear, they were all out cold. Kinda pitiful.
Oh, and before you say it, I purposefully misspelled infinitesimally because she said it that way.