JUSTICE LEAGUE

6

Karaoke and Neo
 

Scarlett left the others while they bickered over the one TV the Justice League owned.

She had a date.

Yep, that's right. The handsome serenading Scottish guy who had been under Bo Powers and the Evil Manager's control, had freed himself when everyone fell asleep in the courtroom during Midnight Chatter's speech.

He had called her on her cell phone earlier that day, before the Paper Kut incident, while she was lounging in her newly acquired Secluded Cottage.

"What am I going to wear?" she asked, walking into the Justice League walk-in closet. Scarlett had a fairly extensive wardrobe, but it was okay, because most of the Justice League member had only a few changes of clothes and costumes. More than half of the walk-in closet was fully devoted to Scarlett's wardrobe--the rest of her clothes were in special storage, and would soon be moved to her new cottage.

Another quarter of the closet housed her large collection of sexy red heels. The sexy red heels, however, had been in a locked display case ever since Scarlett had caught X-Raytor and Eric trying them on. She'd had to burn the two pairs of shoes they'd tried on.

Scarlett shuddered at the memory, and looked over at her dress collection instead.

"I wish Hamlet was here to help me pick something out. He always has the best taste," she mused. Which reminded her to call him. She dialed Hamlet's cell phone. "Hamlet?"

"Mrrow?"

"It's Scarlett. Just wanted to call and remind you to come over in a few minutes. You've got to tail me while I'm on my date. The guy can serenade, after all, and even though he's a great guy, he did used to work for Bo Powers and The Evil Manager. I don't want to take chances."

"Meeeow," replied Hamlet affirmatively.

"Okay. I'll see you in five, then. Bye." She hung up. Looked at the rows of clothes.

"I guess I'll have to do this the best way I know how without Hamlet here." She closed her eyes, turned around and around until she got dizzy, then reached her hand out and held on tight to the first dress her hand touched until the dizziness faded. She opened her eyes.

The dress she had picked was quite nice. One of her favorites, actually, but then again, most of her dresses were her favorites. She put it on, ran a comb through her hair, and checked her make-up. Hamlet ran into the room as she was putting on her one of her sexiest pairs of little red heels. She had just finished when the doorbell rang.

"I'll get it!" Scarlett shrieked, practically flying down the stairs. The other Justice Leaguers were blankly watching a movie with talking animals wandering through a forest.

Hamlet was mildly interested in the fluffy Himalayan cat in the movie, but he had more important things to do than flirt with a cat on TV. He watched as Scarlett opened the door.

Sure enough, the hot serenading Scottish guy was waiting for Scarlett. They exchanged greetings, and then he offered his arm to Scarlett and whisked her away from the Justice League Headquarters. Hamlet followed a few feet behind them, until they reached their destination.

A karaoke bar.

Obviously the hot Scottish guy didn't know what he was setting himself up for, and Scarlett didn't notice the sign when they went in.

But Hamlet knew what would happen if Scarlett started singing: her years of dedicated practice and control would be thrown away in one awful relapse. Plus she might accidentally kill the hot Scottish guy she liked so much.

For a second, Hamlet toyed with the idea of letting Scarlett sing him to ashes. Hamlet didn't like the guy so much.

But after a moment, Hamlet realized more was at stake than just the hot Scottish guy. Scarlett could do a lot worse damage than that if she got going, and then she'd be in trouble again.

Unless he could warn her. Hamlet tried to go in, but apparently there was a "No Pets" rule, so he took off for the Justice League to get help. He knew Oreo Avenger or Midnight Chatter could get inside and stop her.

Inside the karaoke bar, Scarlett was already starting to consider stepping up to the mike. After all, she hadn't done this in years, and she had her powers under control.

Right?

The hot Scottish guy ran up to the mike. He tossed Scarlett an orange rose from where he stood, and she caught it. Then he started singing. It was her favorite song, the Moulin Rouge version of "Your Song."

Scarlett thought she was going to die from the sheer romance of the moment, then the hot Scottish guy walked up to her in the middle of the song, still holding the mike and singing. He took her in his arms, and they danced as he sang.

When the song was over, he put the mike back on its stand.

And Scarlett, still a little in her serenading-induced haze, walked up to the microphone...

***

Midnight Chatter snuck out the back door of the Justice League Headquarters. The group was watching Homeward Bound. He had seen that one too many times. Besides, he wasnít in the mood for a movie. After saving the group from near destruction from the Origami Warriors, and not hearing one "thank you" or "wow, good job" or "wanna make out" he realized that none of the Justice League really cared if he stayed or left. The only one he thought might really care was Scarlett Fyre. She was the only one to really treat him like a human being. Isomorphix was nice to him when he first joined, but he had lately been busy with his own thing. All the rest just ignored him.

Midnight Chatter looked around and realized he had been walking around town for half an hour thinking about all of this. He was walking down a trail in the park.

"...none of them even mentioned the fact that I had a cool new power. You would think they would say something. They think all I do is ramble, which they think is a pointless power, but then I get one that can really do some damage, and they donít even care!" MC pointed out.

"Youíre right. They didnít notice. But you know what? They donít deserve you. None of them notice what a good job you do. And granted you used to be a coward, but now you are as brave as the rest of them." MC replied.

"Yeah! They donít deserve me! I could do so much better on my own! I donít need them! The only reason I joined was because I wanted them to help me find the Mob guy who threw me off the building and caused me to be like this."

"Wow, I forgot about that! That was the reason you joined, but you havenít even asked them about it. You got so caught up in the drama and excitement of it all, that you didnít even bring it up."

"You know? You are the only person who really gets me."

"Yeah, and you are the only person you listens to me."

" Do you think by rambling to myself it will cause my head to implode? Or do you think I am immune to it?"

"Eh, you talk to yourself all the time and nothing ever happens. Why should this be any different?Ē

"I guess youíre right, MC."

"Thanks, MC. It feels good to have somebody tell me Iím right for a change. You know, I think I should start focusing more on my goal at hand. I need to find that Mob guy. Not only can I get revenge. I can get answers. I want to know about my family."

"Yeah, it is kind of sad not remembering anything about your past, isnít it?"

"It sure is."

BOOM!!!

"AHH, It happened! My head imploded!!"

"No you idiot, look behind you!"

Midnight Chatter took a break from talking to himself and turned around. What appeared to be a space ship had crash-landed on the roof of the Hall of Justice.

"Lets get back to the Hall, quickly!"

"Alright, but MC, donít tell anybody about our conversation. I donít want the rest of the group to know that I am bothered by the fact that they donít pay attention to me."

"The secretís safe with me, buddy."

Midnight Chatter started to jog back to the big Justice League building.

"So, do you think Scarlett Fyre has a thing for me?"

"Nah, she's more into the swave, debonair type. She just likes you as a friend."

"Oh...well, she is still pretty cute."

"Oh, yeah. Definitely."

***

I felt a deep stirring. The computer said, "The craft has landed, It has been 6 billion years since your evacuation, you are in need of medical attention?"

What!? Six billion years? No, No, I'm fine, no need for medical action-wait something is wrong, I feel so, so strange, it's as if I am liquid. Aaaahhhh! Look At me, I am melting! Computer, full diagnostic of my physiology, now!

"Scanning. Detecting polymers in your body, analyzing nervous system. Error. You have no nervous system, your body has undergone some kind of metamorphosis and you now are a large mass of interconnected cells, each with their own brain that are all part of your sentience. WARNING. Several beings are approaching in a hostile manner. What action should be taken?"

Raise shields!

"Shields cannot be raised, the last shield energy was spent entering this planet's atmosphere. These beings are powerful, my diagnostics could not have noticed this from such a distance, but they have the ability destroy us.Ē

What?! Oh no! I wish I had disruptor gun right now.

Suddenly something started to form on my upper left hand, it looked like a-no, it couldn't be! A disruptor gun!

Oh my god, I have the power to manipulate my own body, if I can call it a bodyÖ

***

Oreo Avenger was halfway paying attention to the movie, but mostly reading her book. She'd already read it twice. It just got more and more interesting every time she read through it. She yawned and stretched. It was almost time for sleep, but first, a drink of water.

Oreo Avenger was making her way to the kitchen when something bit her ankle.

"Ack!" she yelled, flying to the ceiling. "Oh, it's you, Hamlet."

Hamlet looked at her reproachfully.

"Yes, I should have realized it was you, but we had a lot of close calls lately, and I'm a little jumpy."

Hamlet laid his ears back and hissed.

"A karaoke bar? But . . . wasn't that where she . . . " Oreo Avenger pulled something out of a nearby closet. "Lead the way, Hamlet!"

They raced through the city, the cat pausing ever so often to remember the way to the bar. Finally they made it to the place. Oreo Avenger looked in the door and saw Scarlett dancing with her date. Good, nothing had happened yet. Oreo Avenger stepped into the bar.

"Can I see some ID?" the man inside asked.

Oreo Avenger blinked. "What?"

"You need to be at least 18 to enter the bar." The bouncer flexed his muscles threateningly. "I'll need to see some ID."

Oreo Avenger sighed and fumbled in her pockets for her ID. She had forgotten it again. "I need to get in there! A friend of mine is going to do something terrible!"

"All right," the large man said, pushing her out the door. "We'll handle until you can come back with some ID."

Looking past the bouncer, Oreo Avenger saw Scarlett take the microphone. It was almost too late!

Suddenly, the bouncer let go of Oreo Avenger and clutched his ankle. Hamlet sat near him, calmly washing his face and looking very pleased with himself. Inside, Scarlett was opening her mouth to sing. Time for drastic measures. Oreo Avenger took out the microphone she had grabbed before she left and turned it on. The speakers squealed as the sound feed was changed to Oreo Avenger's microphone.

Oreo Avenger sang a quick little song from "To The Barricades!" Scarlett seemed to snap out of whatever spell she was in and looked at the microphone in confusion. Oreo Avenger walked past the bouncer, lying on the ground with Hamlet sitting on his chest, and talked into her microphone again.

"Attention please. This has been a surprise inspection of the . . . Justice League alert system. Had this been a real emergency, you would have been informed on a suggested course of action. Please enjoy the rest of the evening." The crowd silently stared at Oreo Avenger. They would complain about this intrusion later. Unless...

"Free drinks for everyone!" she shouted. The crowd cheered. The Justice League Emergency Fund could pay for a round of drinks.

Oreo Avenger nodded at Scarlett before exiting the bar.

***

Suddenly, the door was ripped open, and three figures were standing there. One had strange blue liquid flowing over her body, another had created ice using its hands, but the last one was just making noises incessantly. My computer sensed massive power readings as all of these beings surrounded my ship.

I got out and pointed my disruptor at the strange figures; I was suddenly knocked down by a rapidly moving figure, and then a giant force pressed against my mind and I was thrown back violently. I felt a burning against my flesh, but then I focused and made a shield against the burn. I felt a power on my mind. I could feel its presence; its designation was Omega. This being was ultra powerful; it had powerful psychic abilities. This being could understand my language; there was no need for the interpreter chip. I felt as the power gripped my whole body and my mind and slowly lulled me away, so tired, no, I have to...

I woke up in a dimly lit room and immediately felt the presence of the being again, ready to grip my mind again, but now this Omega was probing me, finding out the deepest secrets of my mind. I tried to block him. He could be a Nlaarg spy. His grip was too strong; he was finding out everything of my past--and then suddenly I felt the grip loosen, and he looked at me with pity as if he suddenly understood.

Where is my ship?

"It has been taken to research to be analyzed."

May I see it?

"Yes you may, I understand why you acted hastily towards myself and my colleagues."

But what about the Nlaarg?

"Here let me explain."

Suddenly I felt the presence again, but it was different, somehow. I felt memories, images and many pictures flooding my mind. Missions of the past the others, what they called the Justice League. So much information, I felt as If I would lose consciousness again.

Then, suddenly, I was right by my ship.

Computer, run diagnostic for damage sustained.

Nothing.

Computer, run diagnostic for damage sustained!

Still nothing.

What is wrong with my ship!? I demanded angrily.

Omega said, "The power was exhausted as it tried to defend against us using its emergency source. We thought it best to wait for you before trying to reactivate it."

Yes, yes, thank you, I need a power source to replenish my ship's power supply , and I will need your best alloys to repair my ship. I will also need some of your computer technology to try to retrieve my people's archives.

***

I was given the things I had asked for and I dug out a few tools that I could salvage. I powered them up with what these beings called electricity. It was very primitive, but I was able to format my ship to use it so that it could become operational again. I powered my ship up and I linked the ship's log to my mind. I had to get back to repairing my ship and retrieving my people's history.

I beckoned for Omega to come over.

Come, it is time to tell you the story of my people.

I handed him an adapter and told him to attach it to the base of his brain. Then I brought up the shipís history files, and transmitted them to the adaptor. Omega shuddered and started shaking violently. Immediately, I tried to disengage the uploading process, but the computer did not respond. I tried every command I knew, but still nothing. I reached up to the adaptor and tried to pull it off, but I was met with a violent shock that caused my hand to withdraw and reform. I was distraught; my only other option was to destroy my ship to break the link. I felt Omegaís presence very strongly, and he told me to let the download become complete. After about 30 seconds, he stopped moving.

I thought,Oh my god, is he dead?

Finally, the shipís computers began to read: I have become part of the ship, my body is still functional, just without a brain. You must try to transfer me back to my body.

***

"What did you do!?" Pinzz shrilled. She went to Omegaís body, felt for a pulse, and yanked the thing off his neck. "Youíre lucky he is alive. Who are you?"
The new being didnít answer.

"Crystal, cube him." Pinzz said, and Crystal stepped forward. He didnít seem too frightened as Crystal turned him into a human freeze pop. His lips were turning blue.

"Stop! Please. Stop," he finally said. Then he fainted.

"Bring them both inside. Omega and Freak." Pinzz said. The others scrambled off the roof, a little clumsily. Pinzz clicked on her costume, shot fingers all around Freak, as they were now calling him, and jumped gracefully off the building.

"I got Omega!" Twisk yelled.

Inside the Hall, the others gathered around Freak. Pinzz was waving something under his nose.

"Twisk and...Crystal, go check out his ship." Pinzz said.

Twisk and Crystal walked to the ship; Twisk hopped onto the roof from the gate gracefully, and Crystal followed. The jumped down through the hatch.

"Whatís that?" Crystal asked. She was unhooking a Hi-tech laptop. She pointed to a liquid-like blue ball floating above a light.

"I donít know." Twisk picked it up and then screamed.

It soaked into her hand. Sparks flew from it and she passed out.

***

Twisk was in pretty bad condition. She lay on the couch. Sparks flew from her fingertips every now and then. She twitched a lot. The others were over talking to Freak, who had regained consciousness. Or Neomatrix, whatever he said his name was now that his communication chip or something was fixed. Whatever. Crystal didnít really care.

"Electricity? So... the ship runs on electricity?" Raven asked interested.

The voice came, all soft and weird. It said something about Twisk turning into a borg or whatever.

"Lets just bust up the ship." Crystal said.

"No, No, we mustnít hurt the ship. It will kill Omega. He is connected to it." NeoFreak said.

"We donít destroy it. Just do something to the wires. Some techie can do it or something."

"I can do it. Not to the wires, but I can stop the electricity." Raven said. "I am intangible." She explained. There was a silence.

"That may work. Do you want to risk it?" NeoFreak said.

"Letís just do it. I mean we should right, guys?" Studmuffin said. No one wanted to say it out loud. No one really wanted to make the decision.

Pinzz sighed. "Letís go. Come on." NeoFreak started to get up. "Not you, nutbag."

"Studmuffin, Scarlett, Xiao, you guys stay here and watch Neo...Matrix whoever." Pinzz said.

The rest climbed to the roof. Raven went into the ship. Its wires were sizzling.

"Go on Rave. It will be okay." Pinzz said. Not exactly comforting words, as she sounded doubtful. Raven looked at her.

"Okay, it probably wonít, but try anyway?" Pinzz said.

Raven stepped into the ship. Suddenly, she just went into a wall, disappearing into it. It cackled, and then the computer started shooting sparks everywhere. But it stayed intact. Suddenly Raven stood there, looking a little burnt out. No pun intended.

"Done?" Pinzz asked.

She shook her head. "Yeah. I got all the wires. IÖI saw Omega. Heard his thoughts. He seemed...in pain. But then it stopped. I think he is okay."

They headed back inside to find Omega was sitting up talking to NeoFreak about something like a computer and voices. Twisk was still sparking more then usual.

"What about Twisk?" Crystal asked, after Omega insisted to everyone that he was just fine. "She is out of it."

They all walked over to Twisk, avoiding occasional sparks of electricity. NeoFreak didnít say anything.

"Should we wake her? Maybe we should pour water on her." Crystal suggested. "That usually wakes people up."

"She has ELECTRICITY in her, Crystal. Your not exactly Einstein, are you?" Xiao asked.

***

ďAll right, Twisk is water-based, so an electricity-based machine virus is spreading through her body and the results could be disastrous.Ē Neomatrix told them. After an hour or so with his shipís library, he had figured out what the blue ball of light was.

"No sh*t, Sherlock." Pinzz said sarcastically.

ďRaven, you and I have the ability to change forms, you more drastically, so we must enter her bloodstream as some form, and try to defeat the virus from within.Ē Neomatrix said. ďOmega, if you would, I ask you to try to psychically connect to her, but it is up to you. There is a chance that since her brain is in a state of shock right now, that your mind could be damaged in the link.Ē

"I will have to risk it." Omega stated.

"No f*ckin way!" Pinzz yelled, "We saw what happened last time he told you to do something!"

Omega said, "Pinzz, I appreciate your concern, but this is the only chance that Twisk has."

"If that Freak hadn't landed in the first place, none of this would have happened!" Pinzz screeched.

"What is done is done, and cannot be changed, although it was Twisk who ventured into the ship in the first place." Omega said.

"Fine, but you can't say I didn't warn you if your ass gets fried!" Pinzz said. "So then we are all in agreement, This must be done...Ē

A few moments of silence and their experiment was successful. Raven and Omega had helped Twisk to remove the virus from her system.

***

Raven shook her head. Now that THAT'S over she thought, as she lay back in an La-Z-Boy.

Above her head was a sign. ALL INCIDENTS WITH EVIL PENGUINS, HENCHMEN, DICTATORS, STORE MANAGERS, ETC. MUST EITHER BE RECORDED OR TOLD TO A FELLOW MEMBER OF THE JUSTICE LEAGUE. NO HOLDING BACK DUE TO ANYTHING OTHERS WOULD CONSIDER DISHONORABLE. (This means YOU, X-Raytor.)

She looked up at it. Well, nobody would think anything of it if she mentioned her encounter with the Evil Store Manager. After all, Oreo DID play PM2 often, and she'd heard rumors that Isomorphix and Rosma had tried it. (Those were probably just rumors, though.)

Tomorrow, She thought to herself.

She turned on the radio, making sure the volume was soft, though nobody was concentrating on Homeward Bound anymore.

You're looking for the sun, you're looking for the light, lonely, you're not the only one to feel this way, big green monkey, everyone's a junkie.

Our Lady Peace. Just proving that the world hadn't gone to waste. Yet, of course.