Batman stopped himself, he wanted to be no part of a super-team. He was to fight criminals not aliens and giant monsters and yet he was already planning the inter-team dynamics. There was only the Martian left to study.
There was suddenly a shimmer to his left hand side. The green figure of The Martian Manhunter hung in the air next to him. “Your thoughts are more ordered than any being I have ever met…it is worry that you have so shut yourself off from the rest of humanity. I have monitored many human thoughts…not on purpose, your people broadcast them like they’re shouting.”
Batman silently glared at the Martian.
“I was invisible and intangible, there is no way you could have detected me there is no need to berate yourself…and yes I am weakened by fire, that observation was correct.”
The two continued to stare at one another for a second or two more. “I will recommend a number of techniques and articles to strengthen your psychic walls…one final thing you judge Green Lantern too harshly. The very fact that he has been chosen by the corps to carry the ring speaks volumes about him.”
J’onn drifted away from Batman and began to descend towards the assembled heroes. “Yes. I know everyone’s secret identity and no I will never divulge them to anyone.”
Batman watched him descend and then tugged on the cord which was fastened to the rock face beside him. He swung down through the air passing the Martian and landed just a short distance from the others, he remained slightly in shadow.
“We should discuss this grouping,” Batman said in his gravely voice. “We did good work yesterday turning a potentially disastrous situation. We turned back an alien invasion which no one of us could do alone” he looked around at the faces of the heroes as they began to smile, proud in their achievement. “We were lucky, happenstance brought us together and we managed to barely defeat the threat. I am not the world saving type but I know that I personally am not happy to leave the future of this planet to luck.”
The group stood silently for a second. “I think it’s a good idea,” Flash spoke. “It would be good to have a group who we could…”
“I’m not talking about a social club, we are not the Justice Society” Batman interrupted. Flash looked to him and then went quiet. “I’m talking about a task force, a simple warning system which will alert us of trouble and allow us to respond in good time.”
“Batman I don’t think there is any need to speak to Flash in such a manner,” Superman spoke first of all “I however think you have a point.”
“So in the case of an emergency we get some kind of Bat-Signal and come running to the scene to throw everything we have at it and hope it goes away?” Canary questioned. “I think that’s a little short sighted and…well dumb. That’s not how an effective team works, we’d end up getting in the way of one another, personalities conflict in the fight. If this were to work we would need to train together frequently and establish a clear chain of command.”
Superman and Wonder Woman exchanged muted smiled. Green Lantern was less inconspicuous with his as he beamed from ear to ear. Flash gave him a warning glance and the alien cop fought the grin down as best he could.
“You make an excellent point,” Batman scowled at Superman and Wonder Woman. He could see the smiles on their faces. He fixed a similar stare on the rest of the group, if he wasn’t so intimidating to everyone he met the people there on that night would have no doubt made some kind of challenge to him.
He looked like he was about to speak again when he stopped for a second and seemed to stare into the distance. Superman heard a small crackling of sound. “I’m on my way,” Responded Batman to whoever just spoke into his built in ear piece.
Batman turned and began to stride away. There was a moment as if he half remembered the others who were there that night and turned to face them. “Gotham needs me…I’ll be in contact to arrange another meeting to discuss these things further.”
He turned again and pulled something from his belt, he moved so quickly only Superman and Flash perceived it as he fired some grappling hook off into the distance at the front of the cave and then shot into the air after it.
“He is…” Aquaman began looking for a word to describe him in the foreign language his companions spelt.
“…intense,” Canary offered
“…Asshole?” offered Green Lantern with a roll of his eyes. He was not best impressed with the attitude of Batman or how he had spoken to the group of assembled heroes. Himself especially.
“I believe the word he was looking for was driven,” J’onn offered with a nod to Aquaman. Aquaman beamed back a large smile. The telepathy of the two ‘outsider’ heroes pinged against one another sharing a large portion of understanding. A similar wavelength almost, the others had meant their terms as negatives but he had meant his as a positive. It was something J’onn seemed to understand.
“I want to apologies for Batman,” began Superman. It was something he would find himself doing time and time again in the future.
“Because he won’t apologies for himself, ever” explained Wonder Woman. She was determined one day she would make him apologies.
“He is a good man though I can vouch for him on that,” Superman noticed an easing in the room slightly as he said that. “You get used to him,” he added quickly, he never pretended to anyone even himself or Batman that he agreed with the way the Dark Knight of Gotham acted.
Superman’s head twisted to the side for a split second. “I’m afraid I also have to go, Toy Man is attacking Metropolis again. I’m sorry to cut this all short,” he fired one last big smile at everyone “It was great to see you all and I hope you all want to meet again.”
He vanished a second later in a red and blue blur as he took to the air and exited the cave.
“I don’t want to turn this into a running theme but I did have to postpone a meeting with the President to make this grouping but I can’t put him off forever,” Wonder Woman apologized with a nod. The hearts of several of the heroes skipped a beat when they realized she had cancelled a meeting with the president in order to come and see them. “It was a pleasure especially to meet you,” she offered to Black Canary and turned to leave.
The remaining five stood in silence for a moment or two. Green Lantern (as it would be in a lot of situations) was the first to speak. “Does anyone else get the feeling that this is going to happen a lot?”
“Welcome to the B-List,” smiled Black Canary. She had always known that in Superheroes there were the big guns and the others. They were in her eyes however all equally important.
“B-List,” he crinkled his nose. He was the protector of an entire sector of space with more sentient life than any of these other heroes had suspected existed. He also had the universe’s most powerful weapon on his finger. He was by no means the B-List.
“We can handle all of this at a later date,” Flash offered up a calming statement (as he would once again find himself doing time and time again) “I’m looking forward to meeting you all again but I’ve got a lovely lady waiting for me back home who I promised a late date to.”
“Wait up Speedy I’ll race you back,” Green Lantern smiled as his ring flared to life around him. “Can I interest you in a lift little lady?”
Black Canary fought the urge to give him a death stare and instead forced the most bimbo headed smile she could muster. “I’ve got my bike thanks GL,” she raised her head and fired him a wink “I don’t think you could keep up with me anyway.”
Flash couldn’t help but laugh out loud at his companion as the three began to exit the cave leaving J’onn and Orin alone. The two lonely men looked to one another, their telepathy making it clear to each other unintentionally that they were hoping the meeting would have been a little more indepth and given them some companionship amongst others like them.
“Can you breathe underwater?” asked Aquaman.
J’onn smiled as he grew a pair of gills along the side of his neck and face. “I can now, what did you have in mind Orin?”
“I spotted an old wreck when I was on my way here. The fish in the area warned me against it…something dark lurks there apparently. It could be quite an exciting adventure.” He smiled at the green skinned martian as he nodded in acceptance and the two set off.
3 hours later…
“It’s not like him to be late,” Wonder Woman offered to Superman. The two patriotically dressed heroes had been waiting on the third for about 10 minutes now following his whispered instructions to Superman as he left the cave which Kal had then relayed to Diana after her meeting with The President.
“He’s not…again Batman?” Clark shouted up into the shadows. Batman swooped down.
“I didn’t think you’d expect it a second time?” he gave a half smile to the kryptonian.
“What is this about? You brush off the others and then request to see us.”
“They need to band together quickly,” Batman informed her. “Superman will never admit it but were un-reliable. I’m not a superhero, Gotham is my primary concern. You have your own mission and he is stretched thinly already. They can’t rely on us to be there.”
“So you’re going to push them away from the very start?” Superman did not like this idea at all. He hated to admit that he was unreliable but he didn’t see the problem with at least trying.
“They’re going to look the 3 of us to set an example, to take the lead and then one day none of us will be there. That’s why we need to meet up and discuss these things. We need to decide which of them will be the leader.”
He motioned into the cave where he had set up a large circular table with three chairs around it. In the centre was photos of the five heroes who they had met tonight. “Do you really think this is the best way to do this?” Wonder Woman asked.
“They should be involved,” Superman nodded. He didn’t like this one bit, it felt like a betrayal of his new friends.
Batman sat in silence and watched the two of them as the wrestled with their consciences. He could see however that they were going to come around to his point of view eventually.
“Lets just start with a vote so we know the lay of the land,”