The waves of the bay harbour crash softly against the rocky shore and recede back, only to repeat the process. In the peaceful still of the clear blue night, the sound of a harp and flute can be heard. The view pans upward to the clod and grey exterior of the battle-ship shaped from of Arkham Asylum.
Prisoners sit peacefully in lunchroom chairs pre-arranged as a make-shift auditorium. In front of them are Jarvis Tetch in his white prisoner uniform, eyes closed and softly playing the flute. Aside him a white brunette woman hugging a large ground harp; her fingers softly and with exquisite beauty of their own, gently work their way up and down in a melodic counterpoint.
Penguin sits in a chair next to Joker, delighting himself by getting wrapped up in the bliss of the classical work and air conducting it. Penguin notices tears coming from Joker’s eyes.
“Ah, Joker – I had no idea you were so moved by the finer musical arts.”
“I’m not – I sat on a pocket full of thumbtacks meant for Scarecrow.”
“If I do say so, it appears you are finally getting the point of the guards requests.”
The music finally concludes. There is some clapping and positive voices. Towering above them is Penguin clapping loudly and bellowing out, “Bravo! Bravo! Bellissima! Encore!”
Jarvis bows. The woman nods her heard to the prisoners. The warden walks up, a jailer besides him for protection.
“Thank you. Thank you all for another successful Music Thursday’s, now in its seventh mount running. As usual, I hope you will all assemble peacefully to your maximum security and minimum security wings. The minutes until lights out,” the warden gets off stage.
As guards watch in corners with shotguns, the prisoners do just that, filing out separate doors. A separate guard watches as Jarvis closes his flute carrying case. He turns and heads over to assist the brunette woman.
Jarvis speaks to her, “Ah, my lovely song bird with fingers of an angel, please do let me help.”
“Thank you, Jarvis,” she replies.
They push the heavy harp to a platform with wheels at the end of the stage, stopping to lift it up and place it on the platform. They walk off stage and push the harp over to the minimum security wing door after Jarvis places the flute case on the cart, too.
“Jarvis, what did you call those brain waves that relax the body?” she asks.
“Alpha waves, my celestial singer. Attuned properly, they bring the mind and body to a state of deep relaxation, but when it comes to Bach’s Flute Sonata No. 2, the relaxation just sort of comes naturally.”
“Indeed it does,” she replies.
“I … don’t know how to broach this, but tomorrow parole hearings begin. I do, of course,” he places a hand on his heart, “expect to be denied again, but what if you are approved? I won’t get to see you for so long. Oh – how I will miss your effulgent beauty and voice that would make even God weep. If I may have but one last request, it would be but a kiss; forbidden on such cold and lifeless grounds that would deny a man one of life’s few memorable pleasures, lest the guard here find it in his heart to-”
“Make it quick,” the guard looks off to the side after the stop at the door leading to the Men’s wing.
“Jarvis, it’s really not necessary-” she is cut off when Jarvis places a hand on one of her cheeks and kisses her on the lips.
“Ah, freedom – always but on the cusp of the wild wind. Good night, my singing seraphim.”
“Okay, Romeo, end of the line,” the guard unlocks the entrance door and lets Jarvis in, then shuts it.
“Okay, proceed to the Women’s wing,” he says to her.
The woman walks, grinding her teeth and saying lowly, “Pig…” while pushing the cart by herself.
It’s mid next day at Arkham Asylum. A guard summons the brunette woman from her open cell, interrupting her reading of a book on the human brain.
She is handcuffed and her feet shackled, in advance of entering a parole board hearing room. In it Commissioner Gordon also sits, not part of the board.
“Prisoner 74736, one misses Lorelei Circe, your file indicates this is your second parole hearing. You were found guilty of pre-meditated manslaughter by a jury of your peers. According to our records you have been an exemplary prisoner who has shown signs she can and is willing to re-join society,” says the parole board head, an older black woman with glasses.
“No! You can’t do this! She’s not sorry – she never even admitted guilt!” Gordon blurts out.
“Commissioner Gordon, this is a civil and peaceful hearing; if you have something you’d like to ad, please step forward and address us,” says the head of the board.
Gordon gets up out of his chair and stands feet apart from Circe, “Lorelei Circe is a cold-blooded killer who to this day is unrepentant.”
“There are serious accusations, Commissioner,” another member comments aloud, an elderly man.
“And it wasn’t just him,” Gordon adds.
“Explain,” says the head of the board.
“Two of her passed boyfriends disappeared under mysterious circumstances and her first fiancé was found dead in their home. Mind you I can’t prove any of this legally, but I’ve been a cop long enough to know when something stinks.”
The parole board head replies to Gordon, “While un-founded accusations are not sufficient for the board to take into account, your thoughts will be considered.”
“Just ask her,” he points to Circe, “is she sorry?” Gordon turns around and storms out.
“Well, misses Circe, I am understandably compelled to ask you: are you sorry for killing your husband?” the board head asks.
Circe doesn’t speak for a few seconds and blinks her eyes in annoyed thought, slightly pursing her lips, “I would remind the board that I was convicted but pled innocent, that no murder weapon was found.”
The male member speaks up again, “Miss Circe, I have read the trial transcriptions, I know the evidence entered and not entered into trial. Lack of admission of the crime and a murder weapon unaccounted fordoes not make you innocent. Having read the transcripts, I happen to believe you killed your second husband, but the charges brought and behavior here in Arkham compels me to put aside my beliefs in the trial outcome and judge you now, over three years later. And from where I sit, the lack of remorse for your late husband troubles me.”
“May I speak freely?” Circe asks.
“Miss Circe, you can speak as you wish – this panel review is perhaps the only time each year you can do so,” says the head.
“Say I did kill him, do any of you honestly think I would get out, marry again, and kill again? What kind of serial killing monster do you think I am?”
“Miss Circe, while that may be a valid point, we have to take into account your psychological profile and whether you are fit to re-join society,” the parole board head replies.
“My mental health? From the same prison that gave us Harley Quinn? Lock Up? And the infamous revolving door that keeps letting out people like Penguin and the Joker? I don’t think those men are fit to judge me.”
The parole head answers back, “Miss Quinzel was an unfortunate mistake. I was saddened to have been a colleague of hers, but please don’t lump me and the rest of them in with her. Now, let’s talk about your life here in Arkham, shall we?”
After a little over ten minutes, the door opens and Circe slowly exits, with a guard in tow. The door shuts, and once closed all three panel members give each other knowing looks.
Circe’s file is rubber-stamped DENIED in red ink.
Later that day. Circe is escorted by a guard to the prisoner’s recreational room.
“I’m sorry to hear about the bad news, miss Circe,” says the guard.
“What bad news?” she asks him.
“You know, the parole denial.”
“Denied?” she says shocked and a little angry, turning to look at the guard.
“Please face forward – you know the rules when being escorted.”
They stop at a door. The guard puts a key in a control panel, turns it, and enters a code. There’s a buzzing sound and the red light above the door turns green. He opens it and she walks in by herself. The guard closes the door and leaves.
Circe opens the door to the recreational room; in it the harp and flute reside, as well as some miscellaneous other items from other inmates.
“Ah, my serenading songbird, I was beginning to wonder if you’d show.”
Circe walks to her harp, “My parole hearing ran a little longer. I needed time to myself after that.”
“So, how’d it go?”
“They denied my parole,” she flicks a hand down the harp strings to the lower octaves.
“Ah, well, I’ve been in here for over four years now. As is always the case, Batman put me away, but this time I really reflected on things and began to realize I really did belong here and that perhaps it was helping me. It’s not so bad when you get used to it. Give it time. Plus you have me as company.”
“I don’t belong here. If Commissioner Gordon hadn’t shown up at my parole hearing…”
“There, there,” he puts his hands on her shoulders, “You just need something to take your mind off it all. Maybe a new piece…” he spins around her and lowers his hands to her hips, “or maybe you and I can make beautiful music together.”
Circe’s fingers close into her hands, making fists; they turn red and shake before she stops and looks away from the harp to Jarvis, “How about I sing…”
He removes his hands and puts them together, “Oh, how delightful! You rarely ever sing and it’s always so beautiful when you do.”
“Then I have something just for you. I’ve been practicing extra hard lately to do this. How would you like to hear a note you’ve never heard before?”
“Ooohhh, yes, yes – please do!”
Circe backs up a few steps.
“Now, listen carefully…”
Jarvis watches intently. Circe opens her mouth, lowering her jaw and letting her mouth hang open freely. A high-pitched note comes out – shrill and so clean it is like a computer-generated sine wave. Jarvis’ face goes from a delighted smile to one of apathy as his face muscles loosen. He stares out at Circe; not so much at her but as through her. She closes her mouth and looks at him with ambivalence.
“Stay here…” she exits the room and goes to the locked door. She knocks, “Guard! Guard!”
“What?” he looks through the window pane.
“Something’s wrong with Jarvis!”
“Step away from the door,” says the guard.
She steps back a few times. The buzz sounds and the door opens.
“Over here, hurry!” she runs to the room, the guard with her.
The guard jogs in and sees Jarvis just standing there, looking out into space.
“Mr. Tetch, are you okay?” he awaits and gets no response, “Hello? If this is some kind of game, you know you’ll never get paroled ever again,” he snaps some fingers in front of Jarvis’ face and looks into his eyes, “There’s nobody home. Poor bastard must have been experimenting again and got himself. I better call Batman, he said if Mr. Tetch ever-”
“No,” she grabs one of the guard’s arms.
She opens her mouth. He looks up from her hand to her face. He glazes over as the sine wave is made. She closes her mouth.
“What is the door code?” Circe asks.
“Take Mr. Tetch back to his cell. Jarvis, darling…” she walks up to him, “go back to your cell.”
“Yes,” Jarvis replies.
“When the guard has left, get a spare pair of underwear and hang yourself.”
“Oh, and Jarvis.”
“Take your shirt off and double the noose – I wouldn’t want you falling prematurely.”
Jarvis walks out the recreation room door with the guard in tow. They exit the secured door.
“Faster, please,” Circe says, following them.
They pick up the pace. Circe cautiously sneaks around the halls. She lowers and crawls under a checkpoint window. Another secure door a few feet from the window buzzes. She flattens her body against the wall near the door’s hinges. The door flies open, only an inch from her face. A guard walks in and to the check point window. She slips quickly around the door and out it.
The guard walks away from Jarvis’ cell. Jarvis heads immediately for a spare underwear garment, while removing his prison shirt.
More emboldened, Circe runs down a long hall with closed doors, stopping at a stairwell. She quietly opens the door and closes it quietly, too.
The Penguin looks on at Jarvis as he climbs onto a pile of the bed sheets and mattress atop the desk chair.
“By God, the ol’ chap is really going to do it, isn’t he?”
Next to Penguin’s cell, the Joker watches, “A free show and here I am with no popcorn!”
The guard at the sign-in visitor’s desk looks up from his Grey Ghost comic book to see Batman standing there, signing it.
“Oh, Batman! Sorry, I was … what brings you here today?”
“Just a regular monthly check up on Harvey Dent.”
“Harvey Dent,” Batman says more pronounced.
The guard buzzes the entrance door and lets Batman in.
Circe exits the stairwell, once it has reached the bottom. She heads for the laundry bay.
Jarvis kicks out the chair and hangs himself. He twitches for a couple of seconds, then comes out of the hypnosis Circe had put on him and starts struggling to breathe. He tries to rip the noose off.
“Guard!” Penguin yells.
Jarvis’ arms drop to his sides and he start shaking like he was having a seizure.
“Guard!” Penguin yells again, louder and banging the bars with his fists.
The door buzzes and opens, the guard and Batman walking in.
Penguin looks down at them the best he can with a small part of his head sticking out; he sees Batman, “Batman!” he yells, pointing at Jarvis cell, “He’s hung himself!”
Batman and the guard run over. The guard fiddles with the lock. Once open, Batman rushes in, pulls out a batarang and flings it at the noose, slicing threw it and dropping Jarvis.
Circe nears the hall to the laundry bay. As she’s about to round the corner she hears a voice yell out to her.
“Hey!” Commissioner Gordon calls out.
Circe turns around quickly to see him.
“What are you doing down here? You can’t be down here without an escort.”
“Laundry detail,” she quickly replies.
“Laundry detail? I didn’t see anything about laundry detail in your file. Hold it right there!” he takes out his firearm and aims it at her, holding it with both hands. “I don’t know where you thought you were going, but it certainly wasn’t out of here. So, what do you got to say now?”
She widens her mouth and opens and sings the same sine wave as before. The stern look on Gordon’s face disappears when his face muscles loosen. His other hand lets go of the gun and it and the hand holding the gun fall to his sides. The muscles in the hand holding it also loosen and the weapon falls out of it and onto the ground. She closes her mouth and thinks for a second.
“Why don’t you do me a favor and go to the rooftop … and jump off it.”
“Yes, Circe,” Gordon walks passed her, heading to the nearest stairwell.
She makes her way quickly down the hall and to a locked door to the laundry bay. She looks out the small window in the door and sees only a couple of prisoners working, one stuffing dirty laundry into bags, the other loading them into a truck that has it’s opened backdoor exposed to the bay loading door.
Jarvis sits up against a cell wall as a doctor looks him over. Batman sits on his haunches next to Jarvis, his back to the cell door.
“I don’t see any signs of drugs or any physical damage. He should be fine. I’ll want to do an X-ray later on to check on any possible internal damage to the esophagus,” says an Arkham doctor.
Jarvis speaks up, “Oh, Batman, to what do I owe this visit to?” he says with a little sarcasm.
“You hung yourself.”
“Hang myself? Don’t be absurd – why would I do such a thing?” he rubs his red throat.
“That’s what I’d like to know. One of your mind control contraptions misfire on you, Tetch?”
“No! I haven’t even toyed with anything like that in almost a year.”
“Riiighhht – so you tripped and fell an accidently hung yourself.”
“Actually, I’m not sure what happened,” Jarvis replies.
“Tell me what you remember,” Batman asks, giving him the benefit of doubt and wanting to exhaust any other possibilities.
“Well, ah, that’s kind of the thing – I don’t really remember anything.”
“What’s the last thing you recall?” Batman asks, taking a cue from Jarvis’s face and body language that he might be telling the truth.
“I was in the recreation room practicing a new Back piece when my dynamic musical duo partner Lorelei Circe came in to practice. She was a little down because the parole board denied her again. She offered to sing for me and after that I … I … I don’t seem to recollect anything beyond that. Well, I sort of remember hanging, but it wasn’t until I saw you, Batman, that I really remember anything.”
“You rest,” Batman stands up and leaves Jarvis’ cell; he walks to the doctor who is almost at the hall exit door, “Doctor.”
“How can I help you, Batman?” he asks, then enters the code and opens the door. Batman follows him out.
“I’d like to run some more thorough tests with some of my own equipment.”
“Well, you’ll of course have to get the warden’s permission. But you’ll have to wait forty-eight hours; he’ll be placed under suicide watch twenty-four hours a day until they’re over. Then he’ll get a psychological evaluation and-”
He stops when he sees Batman stop walking and get down on his haunches, looking at a gun on the hall floor.
“Whose gun is that? The doctor asks, angrily, since they are in a prison.
Batman picks it up and examines it, “This belongs to Commissioner Gordon.”
“How do you know that?”
Batman speaks as he stands up, “I read the serial number. This isn’t like him.”
Like a zombie, Gordon walks down a hall, nearing another stairwell. A man walks out a door, reading a paper.
“Oh, Commissioner Gordon – didn’t expect you see you here. Where you headed?”
“The roof,” Gordon says, un-phased. He continues on ahead and opens the stairwell door, entering and walking up the steps.
“Okay. Nice seeing you, too,” the man continues walking away.
Gordon lifts his feet up and onto step after step after step. He opens the door to the rooftop, and walks out onto the roof. The cool breeze from the nearby river blows his coat’s end around.
Gordon stops at the edge, looks down, and climbs up onto the safety wall. He walks off the edge.
As he falls face forward to the ground, Batman swoops down and lands on Gordon’s back, causing them to spin around. With his free hand he points a grappling hook, armed with a sharp digging end instead of the old three-fingered grappling hooks, and fires. It shoots up fast and jams into Arkham Asylum. It pulls taut less than one story from the ground. They swing in one direction and the sharp end falls out of the building, causing them to fall. Batman falls on his back with Gordon held firmly with his other arm.
The loose grapping string falls to the earth. A couple of outside guards come running.
“Ow … where am I?” Gordon asks after Batman has rolled him off.
“Outside Arkham, Commissioner.”
“Batman? How’d I get out here?”
The guards help them up. Then one of them picks up Gordon’s glasses, which had fallen off, and hands them to him.
“You mean you don’t remember?” Batman asks, looking at Gordon and noticing the same comment that Jervis gave.
“No, I don’t; last thing I remember is … Circe! I found her on another floor with no escort and … well, I don’t really remember, to tell you the truth.”
Batman asks him, “Tell me about Circe…”
Circe looks out the window of the back door to the delivery truck she stowed away in, hiding behind bags of laundry, as it drives into Gotham.
Batman types at the Watch Tower main computer terminal and displays a picture with some text. He speaks.
“Lorelei Circe. Currently serving her third year at Arkham Asylum, at least she was earlier today until she escaped.
“What did she do?” Green Lantern asks.
“She murdered her husband.
“Dang. Must have forgotten to take out the trash,” Green Lantern comments.
“What are her powers – I’m not seeing anything in her file,” Wonder Woman asks, standing to the other side of Batman.
“She doesn’t have any. I ran some tests on her DNA and nothing appeared abnormal.”
“Then how in the world did she manage to get two people to try and off themselves? I’m pretty sure she didn’t ask nicely,” Green Lantern asks.
“I don’t know. And even though she was acquaintances with the Mad Hatter, no mind control devices were found and medical test came up empty for any drugs that could have altered their minds.”
“What’s a chanteuse?” Wonder Woman asks, pointing at the screen.
Batman responds, “It’s a rare talent. It refers to someone who can sing in a seven octave range. Like most in Arkham, she could have made a good honest living with her talents.”
“Man – seven octaves. You can’t even get seven octaves out of a trombone,” Green Lantern says; Batman and Wonder Woman look at him, “What? I played a little in the Marine Crop marching band.”
“So, why call us?” Wonder Woman asks.
“Normally I might call on Batgirl or Nightwing to help me, but she’s out of Gotham City and I don’t know how she’s doing this to people. I could use a couple of aces up my glove.”
“Huh. Looks harmless enough,” says Green Lantern.
“If I took off my crown and outfit and put a dress on, would I look harmless?” Wonder Woman asks him.
“Point taken. Though maybe we should experiment with the dress part just to be sure,” he says; Wonder Woman looks at him, “Someone had to say it – Flash isn’t here.”
Batman reads Circe’s file, “Age 35, caucasian, brunette, five-foot six inches, one hundred thirty-five pounds, eyes are cerulean blue.”
“Cerulean blue … like a gentle breeze,” says Green Lantern.
“Huh? Wonder Woman says.
“Use caution. If she can get the Gotham City chief of police to jump to his death, there’s no telling what she may be capable of.”
Circe sits back against the seat of a taxi cab, closing her mouth and looking at the cabbie.
“I already paid,” she says to him.
“Yes,” he replies.
She opens the door and exits the cab, closing the door behind her. She looks in through the passenger side window, “Why don’t you go home and take a long bath.”
“Yes,” he drives off.
Circe looks around and finds a phone booth. She flips through the pages and eventually stops on one. She then flips to the city maps pages and looks up the location. Once out, she looks around and walks. She sees a postman walking around with a satchel and approaches him.
“Yes, ma’am?” asks the overweight and slightly graying mail carrier.
“I’m here in town visiting and understand the local military base is offering helicopter rides to the public.”
“Oh, yeah, pretty popular around here. Kids love it. I think they might still have guided tours, too. But these days, who knows.”
“Oh, that does sounds like fun. Ride around, see some jets, maybe look at the some nuclear missiles. Never really seen any of that outside of TV and film.”
“Nuclear missiles?” he chuckles, “No, this is just a small auxiliary base with some fighter jets. It’s a common misconception every base has ’em.”
“Any place good to eat around here?”
“There’s a nice little family-owned diner a few buildings away called Main Street Deli & Diner,” he points.
“Thank you,” she says.
“No problem. Good day,” he gets back to delivering mail.
Circe stops and looks at her reflection in tinted windows to a business. She looks at her hair, then opens a purse she has talked away from a woman earlier that day, and applies pink lipstick.
Inside the small pizza shop a police officer on lunch break watches a TV. He glances at her for a few seconds, having seen her at the window pane in the corner of his eye, then watches the TV again. A prison inmate photograph of Circe appears on the screen. He looks at it, then back at the window as Circe is turning to walk away.
“Hey, can you turn that up?” he asks a lady behind a small desert counter.
“Sure,” she points a remote and repeatedly presses the volume button.
The news anchor speaks: “…escaped from Gotham City’s Arkham Asylum earlier today. Authorities say while she may not be armed, she may be dangerous, so if seen, do not approach. If you have any information leading to her whereabouts, please call a special tipster hotline set up. The number is 1800 122-8480. Again, that number is…”
The police officer writes down the number.
Wonder Woman and Green Lantern talk with J’onn further away from the main computer.
“Got it,” Batman says loudly, then standing up and typing.
J,onn, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern walk over.
“What did you find?” Green Lantern asks.
“Circe has been spotted by a police officer in Rhode Island. He called the tipster line and I traced the call back to a pizzeria. I’m relaying the coordinates to the Javelin. Let’s go,” Batman moves away quickly to the elevator; his cape falls around him.
The officer turns down the volume on his walkie-talkie and exits the pizza place. He makes his way fast but inconspicuously for Circe. He approaches and stops a few feet behind her, unbuttoning his gun holster.
“Lorelei Circe?” he calls out.
She stops and turns around.
He pulls out his gun and aims it at her, his finger off the trigger, “Lorelei Circe, you are under arrest. Put your hands over your head and interlace your fingers.”
“Okay,” she does just that.
“You have the right to remain silent,” he starts reading her the Miranda Rights.
“I’ll pass…” she opens her mouth and lets out the hypnotic sine wave.
Like Gordon, the officer’s face muscles loosen, his mouth hangs open some, and his arms fall to his sides. His hands open and the gun falls to the side walk pavement.
Circe lowers her hands, “Now… do you have a county pier?”
“Good. I want you to get into your cruiser, drive to the pier, and drive off it as fast as you can. Go ahead,” she waves him off with some fingers on her right hand.
“Yes,” he turns around and walks away.
“Oh, and officer? Don’t forget to not wear your seat belt.”
Batman hovers the Javelin several stories in the air, blocks away, to eliminate noise and wind caused by the Javelin.
“You two go on ahead, I’ll stay in the air; there’s no place close by with an area big enough to park the Javelin.”
“No problem,” Green Lantern says.
The aft belly hatch opens and Wonder Woman and Green Lantern fly out of it, down to the location.
Batman looks at a map display on a computer screen, with a light on the pizza place and two green dots moving toward it, “You’re above the street now, not far from the pizzeria.”
“Hold on, something’s happening – I see a small crowd gathered on Main Street; we’ll check it out,” Green Lantern removes his hand from the ear piece and then dives down with Wonder Woman aside him.
People on the street see Wonder Woman and Green Lantern fly down. They land feet first and walk over; Green Lantern’s green glow goes away.
“Wonder Woman!” one calls out excitedly.
The people walk up to them.
“Is everything okay here?” Wonder Woman asks.
Another person speaks up, “It’s the strangest thing – one minute officer Findley had his gun out and it looked like he was gonna arrest her, then the next he dropped his gun and drove off.”
Green Lantern examines the gun while on his haunches, “You get all that?” he asks Batman.
Batman immediately replies, “Something similar happened to Commissioner Gordon. Find that policeman before it’s too late.”
“On it,” Green Lantern lights up and stands up.
“I got it – you find Circe,” says Wonder Woman, putting a hand on one of his shoulders. She looks over at the person who told them what happened, “What was he driving?”
“A blue and white police car, number fifty-four. He went that way!” the guy points.
“I’ll be back,” Wonder Woman puts her arms up and takes off.
“Shouldn’t be too hard,” Green Lantern remarks aloud.
Green Lantern walks up to a diner pedestrians pointed him toward. He stops and looks in the big glass windows. He spots Circe and walks up and opens the entrance door, the little bell ringing when he does so.
Circe stops drinking a soda when she hears the loud comments from the patrons about Green Lantern. He stops a few feet behind her, recognizing her hair and that she is the only person in there who has not turned around to see him.
“Lorelei Circe?” he asks.
Her eyes shift to one side and she moves her head slightly with them.
Wonder Woman flies over the city streets, looking when she suddenly spots the number fifty-four on the roof of a car. She swoops down toward the unit. She lands on the street in front of the police car. When she realizes it’s not going to stop, she flies quickly out of the way. She turns around and flies after him. Cars honk and the sound of screeching tires fill the air. She stops abruptly as Findley plots through a red light at an intersection, a truck stopping in front of Wonder Woman as she attempts to follow.
“That was rude. Drives like Batman,” she comments to herself.
“I heard that…”
Wonder Woman flies off after the truck.
“Yes?” Circe asks as she spins in her chair to a side, then stands up.
“What do you mean, ‘Yes’? You’re a bad guy and I’m taking you back to Arkham Asylum. Now, come on. Peacefully.”
“Ummm … no,” she walks passed him and to the door out.
Moist of the patrons in there mouth lowly, “Ooooo…”. Circe exits, john following.
“Oh, come on – she doesn’t have any super powers. Who are you rootin’ for anyway?” he exits and follows after her.
Wonder Woman flies aside the driver’s side of the cruiser.
“Officer Findley?” she gets no response, “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine…” he says, showing no emotion and not even looking over at her.
“Can I ask where you’re going without your gun?”
“Yes,” he replies, then accelerates away from her.
“I’ve had enough.”
Wonder Woman flies down and to the cruiser. She grabs a hold of the lights mounted on the roof. She lifts it a couple inches off the ground. Suddenly the lights rip off the roof, causing the cruiser to fall to the ground. He continues driving away as Wonder Woman spins in the air away. She stops herself and tosses down the lights.
“Superman could have done that,” Batman comments over the comm.
“Keep talking and I’ll show you something Superman wouldn’t do,” Wonder Woman flies after the cruiser.
The cruiser accelerates faster and faster. It rams threw a wooden fence and into a crowd of people in the pier parking lot; they clear out of the way just in time.
“What is he doing?” she flies fast and quickly grabs onto the bumper of the cruiser.
Too late the cruiser breaks threw the ocean-edge protective fencing, taking the wheels off the pavement and briefly causing Wonder Woman to lose traction; she lets go and the cruiser slams into the ocean. Findley’s head plows into the windshield, cracking it and leaving a bloody area on his head. The cruiser starts filling up with water as he’s unconscious.
Batman lands the Javelin vertically downward, scattering people in the parking lot and kicking up sand and loose garbage.
Green Lantern follows Circe down the side walk.
“You got some nerve, lady. You think you’re just gonna waltz out of here? Perhaps you’ve heard of me: the Green Lantern. Helped save the world here and there.”
“Oh, well, then I’ll put that in my diary,” Circe says, not even turning around.
Green Lantern shoots his ring’s beam passed her and forms a rectangular barrier, “That’s far enough. A sassin’ mouth won’t get you far in life. I know – my mother told me. I don’t know how you’ve done what you’ve done to these people, but you’re not dealing with regular people now – you’re dealing with the Justice League.”
Circe turns around, “Ahhh – did your mother whoop you?” mocking him.
“Made me a better person. You could use some retroactive whoopin’ yourself. Better late than never, so they say.”
“Hum. Well, I have a saying of my own and it does a little something like this…” Circe opens her mouth and emits the high-pitched sine wave tone.
As Batman rushes down the Javelin’s bottom hatch, the communications ear piece whines loudly in a shrill way, hurting his hear so badly he cringes and grabs at his ear. He spins around, gets on his haunches and bends his head down out of sight. He removes his cowl and digs the piece out and throws it into the Javelin. At the same time Wonder Woman’s goes off, causing her to grab at her ear in pain, too, and draw back from rescuing the drowning police officer.
“Agh!” she picks hers out and shatters it to pieces with two fingers.
The green wall disappears and the beam retracts into Green Lantern’s ring. He stands there with his mouth agape.
“Did your mother ever warn you about bad girls? Will you do something for me?”
“Good. I want you to fly up, put a sphere around you like they show on TV, fly out as fast as you can to the ocean. Count to thirty, stop, and dive down. Keep going until you can’t see sunlight.”
“And one more thing: and when you can’t see the sunlight anymore, turn off the bubble. Got it?”
“Good. Now, off you go,” Circe smiles.
Green Lantern levitates off the ground three stories, forms the sphere, and flies away.
Wonder Woman flies down and digs her fingers into the roof of the cruiser, on the still exposed part near the rear windshield. Planting her feet firmly on the trunk, she pulls back, tearing the roof off and shattering the windows, lifting it for a few seconds and causing ocean water to pout out. Once off, the cruiser sinks fast. She scoops him up and flies him to the pier where Batman awaits with a medical kit. Wonder Woman lays him on his back and lands on the ground herself.
They look up and see Green Lantern whoosh by and to the ocean.
“Where’s he going?” Wonder Woman asks.
“I don’t know, but he doesn’t have the suspect with him. Whatever she’s done to the others, she’s done to him. You still remember how to do the CPR I taught you?” Batman asks Wonder Woman, while standing up.
“Good. I have to go stop him before he hurts himself,” Batman runs as fast as he can into the Javelin.
Wonder Woman starts CPR as on lookers watch.
Batman speeds out to sea after Green Lantern.
“Batman to Green Lantern,” he waits but gets no reply. “Green Lantern, can you hear me?!”
“Yes,” Green Lantern replies, stopping and then shooting down into the ocean, causing water to part away from the green sphere like a drop of water hitting a clam surface of water. Once under, a stream shoots back up from the center.
After a few tries the police officer comes to, spitting ocean water out of his mouth and rolling over and coughing.
“Somebody get this man to a hospital,” Wonder Woman stands.
A man waves his cellphone, “Already called 911 – and ambulance is on its way.”
“Thank you. I got business to attend to,” Wonder Woman flies off after Circe.
The Javelin nears where the radar indicates Green Lantern had stopped, but Batman sees nothing. He stops the jet and hovers it after rotating the thrusters downward. He double checks the radar and then looks out again.
“Batman to Watch Tower.”
“Watch Tower, go ahead,” J’onn answers.
“Send out a sonar ping to these coordinates,” he types fast.
“Coordinates received. Activating sonar,” J’onn presses buttons, too.
“I need to triangulate Green Lantern’s position with his ear piece, the Javelin and the Watch Tower,” Batman says to J’onn.
“Understood. Pulse sent.”
Batman then moves the Javelin over the coordinates and waits for the pulse to bounce off Green Lantern and onto the belly of the Javelin.
“Got it,” says Batman, who then drives the Javelin in and down to Green Lantern’s position.
As Wonder Woman flies down, people who noticed her point to Circe. Wonder Woman lands in front of Circe.
“Hold it,” she thrusts am arm out, motioning to stop with her right hand.
“Oh, my God – for dungeon mistress? I don’t think so,” Circe walks around Wonder Woman.
“I think not,” Wonder Woman grabs one of Circe’s arms and drags her back, “You mess with my friends, you mess with me.”
“You wouldn’t hit a girl with no super powers, would you?”
“You’re right, but Flash has suggested I could do a little roughing up time to time.”
“Oh, my. Well, I guess you got me,” says Circe.
Wonder Woman lets go and rips the stolen purse off Circe and rummages through it, “I know you got some sort of mind controlling device in here from the Mad Hatter. He lived, by the way.”
“Oh. How sad…” Circe says annoyed.
Wonder Woman tosses the purse down, “Tell me where the device is now or I’ll have to get roughly.”
“All right, but only because you asked so nicely…” Circe opens her mouth and sings the sine wave yet again.
Wonder Woman loosens up and her arms fall to her sides. Circe picks the purse back up and zips it shut.
Circe looks at Wonder Woman, “How’d you like to take a trip to Fort Bragg?”
“Hold still while I climb onto your back,” Circe clings on with her legs and hands, “Who needs frequent flyer miles when you got Wonder Woman. Go … that way,” Circe points after looking around, “We’ll stop and look for directions after a few hundred miles. Up, up, and away or whatever lame thing it is you say, Barbarella.”
Wonder Woman takes off and flies away horizontally as Circe rides atop.
As the sunlight fades in the ocean depths, Batman spots a faint green sphere of light and turns on the ultra-bright floodlights. Coming up to Green Lantern, he slows. Suddenly Green Lantern de-activates the sphere, eliminating all the air and crushing him in the water depth; only the innate intuitive energy of the ring creates a green layer over his body, ever so briefly protecting him from being crushes like a squeezed grape.
Batman’s jaw drops and he looks on in horror. He speeds up to Green Lantern, lets off the engine thrust, coasts in, and slams a fist on the belly hatch door button. It opens and ocean water comes rushing in. Batman watches the belly hanger area from a surveillance camera located in there. The ocean water floods into the cockpit with him. Once he sees Green Lantern sucked in, he slams the button again. As the door slowly closes, the cockpit fills with water to Batman’s waist. Batman quickly straps himself in so the water doesn’t lift him out of the seat. He start angling the Javelin upward and looks behind him to see water rushing in so fast the air is about to be depleted. As it fills up to his neck, he inhales as deep as he can. An alarm goes off, indicating the hatch door has shorted out from stress on the gears, leaving it cracked open.
Batman eases on the thrusters again, slowly speeding up and then to full speed. The sun sparkles in the ocean surface as the Javelin nears it, then shoots out.
Batman levels the Javelin to empty the sea water, but sees Green Lantern start to roll toward the partially open4ed hatch; he angles it upward to keep John from falling out.
Batman scans and locates an aircraft carrier. At the awkward angle he attempts to fly toward it. Water starts to bring air into the cockpit, but when Batman loses control, he rolls the Javelin upside down and flies it that way to the carrier.
Batman starts to show distress, still unable to breathe now that all the air is above him on the floor of the cockpit. He makes fists and shakes. Batman then opens them and locks in the carrier coordinates and activates the autopilot. Too late, as the Javelin nears, Batman blacks out and the air escapes from his lungs. He arms fall over his head and sway in the ocean water.
The Javelin hovers in mid air and belly rolls as it lands, spilling ocean water on the deck as loud alarms sound. Struts het out and it safely lands as programmed.
Batman comes to, to see Superman standing over him. Batman looks around and realizes he’s in the Sick Bay of the aircraft carrier.
“Green Lantern?” he says worriedly, then coughs several times hard.
“Green Lantern is fine. Our fine service men are looking him over in the next room. You got to him just in time. J’onn contacted me when he couldn’t get you to respond.”
“J’onn lost track of her. The tracking beacon in her ear piece isn’t responding and neither is she. And since you’re so impatient and cant’ wait for me to say it, I’ll head you off now: Circe is gone.”
Batman attempts to sit up, “We got to find Wonder Woman.”
“No, I’ll find her. You’ve got salt water in your lunges and the doctors have to suction it out. Hawk Girl and I will try to find them. Still haven’t heard back from Flash yet. What happened out there?”
“Gotham’s latest jailbird Circe somehow managed to get Green Lantern to try and kill himself almost two miles below the ocean’s surface.”
“But she doesn’t even have any super powers,” Superman says, then noticing Batman looking at him, “J’onn brought me up to speed while you were out.”
“I think she somehow got a hold of some sort of mind control device the Mad Hatter had. She activated it while Green Lantern was with her and it nearly blew out my eardrum.”
“Mad Hatter? There sure are a lot of weird villains in your city.”
Batman fires back, “Do I need to name off the roster of regular Metropolis visitors that include aliens and a weird magical being who sounds like Gilbert Gotfried?”
“How come I never win these things? Anyway, you get some rest; we’ll update you. And normally I wouldn’t have to say this to my friends, but … these fine men and women put on diving gear, crawled into the Javelin since the hatch wouldn’t open, and dragged you both out to safety, so could you at least thank them? You tend to just kind of…” Superman notices batman glaring at him, “it wouldn’t kill you to say thank you,” Superman exits the room.
Green Lantern sits on a med bed while a medical officer listens to his lungs with a stethoscope.
“Seems fine,” says the doctor.
“Ah,” Green Lantern waves it off,” I did worse when I was in the Marines.”
“Get out of here – you, Green Lantern, were in the Marine Corps?”
“Only one in the Justice League. When my ring fails, ain’t no problem for me to go hand-to-hand.”
“What unit were you with?”
“Now, you know I can’t tell you that; gotta super secret identity to protect.”
“Right, right. Well, I don’t hear any water in your lungs and your hearing appears to be unaffected, so you should be ready to go.”
“You up to it?” Superman asks from the doorway.
Green Lantern stands and makes a fist and pumps it, “Bo-yah! It’ll take more than that to bring me down.”
“Here,” Superman hands Green Lantern a small electronic device.
“What’s this?” Green Lantern asks.
“It’s a signal beacon I give out to friends in Metropolis. Since you can’t use an ear piece anymore, according to Batman, just press that if you need me and I’ll find you.”
Superman and Green Lantern shake hands on the main deck. They salute and fly off.
Superman and Green Lantern cross the catwalk to the circular work station where J’onn and Hawk Girl are.
“Heard a petite girl with no powers got you to try and kill yourself,” Hawk Girl says with sarcasm.
“Shut up,” Green Lantern replies back.
“Find anything, J’onn?” Superman asks.
“No. I’ve been monitoring various emergency frequencies and news reports, but nothing has come up.”
“Why can’t you do that thing you do where you sense somebody’s mind and find them? Green Lantern asks J’onn.
“I’ve tries, but it’s as if something has blocked me out. That is, of course, assuming she isn’t dead. And I don’t know Lorelei Circe’s mind so I cannot hunt for her.”
“Well, what do we do?” Green Lantern asks.
“There’s nothing we can do. Even if we used a grid patter from where they both last were, there are too many square miles and hiding places to search; we’d never find them,” says Superman.
“This is ridiculous. How is I this brunette bitch with no super powers can elude us like this? I haven’t met her and already I want to bash her head in,” says Hawk Girl.
“Do it extra hard – she did try to kill me you know,” Green Lantern says to Hawk Girl.
Superman says to Hawk Girl, “Well, let’s hear your suggestions.”
“I don’t know any. Just wanted to say it’s ridiculous,” she folds her arms impatiently.
“Just be patient. Given her track record, I don’t think it’ll be long before she shows up,” Superman assures them all.
Bats squeak as they fly in the Batcave. Batman sits at his large computer with his cowl hanging off, having snuck out early once the doctors were done suctioning his lungs. On a small scanning table Green Lantern’s communicator ear piece sits.
“Computer, scan the ear piece for any indication of plastic compound or metal allow fatigue or alteration.”
The computer clicks and lights up, with a blue laser grid forming on the ear piece and rotating.
The male computer voice speaks, “Scanning. There are no indications present in the materials to suggest stress or alteration.”
Batman puts a hand on his chin and contemplates. Alfred walks over with a tray of dinner on a small cart, covered with a dome.
“Dinner time, master Bruce,” he sets the dinner cart aside Batman.
“I heard on the news there was quite the fiasco at Arkham Asylum today. I figured you’d probably be home for dinner tonight and took a chance.”
“It’s this case, Alfred – I can’t figure out how she’s doing it. She’s controlling people’s minds somehow, even though she has no super powers, and I can’t make out how she’s achieving it. I searched both Mad Hatter and Commissioner Gordon and didn’t find any hidden devices on them. And I found no trace mind control substances in Green Lantern’s blood when I swiped the vile the doctor’s took, so nothing is inhaled or ingested.”
“Might I suggest, master Bruce, you have too many viles of people’s blood in your collection as of late.”
“The Batcave computer has a brief recording of the sound before it blew out the speaker in the ear piece. I make sure to set it up to record in case I need it later. I’ve played it back, slowed it down, inverted it and even analyzed it for a hidden sound pattern. Nothing; it’s just a sine wave.”
“Perhaps the question, if I may, is not ‘how’ but rather ‘why’; if it’s there, then it obviously played a role, so the question might be why it plays a role.”
“Interesting, Alfred. But how do you get four, maybe five people to try and willingly kill themselves, all of whom would never do so under normal circumstances, with a sine wave?”
“You’ve got me there, master Bruce. I guess people sometimes just hear what they want to hear. Good night, sir.”
“Good night, Alfred.”
Batman continues studying the readout displays and rubbing his chin.
Wonder Woman flies through the sky as the sun starts to disappear into the horizon. Circe closes her mouth, ending yet another brief session of the sine wave to make sure her control over Wonder Woman is continuous.
“Land over there at that diner.”
Wonder Woman lands on the old cracked and sand-covered parking lot of a diner at an intersection of two highways outside a nearby town. Circe lets go of Wonder Woman and lands on her feet. She walks in front of Wonder Woman toward the entrance door.
As the two enter, local residents and truck drivers who had stopped for a quick bite to eat, mummer aloud to each other Wonder Woman’s name. Circe and Wonder Woman stop at the diner’s meal counter.
“What can I get you both?” the waitress says, holding a small ticket order pad and in one hand prepares to write with the pen she pulled out of her tightly-wound hair bun.
Circe replies, “Two hamburgers … better make that three – she needs more energy than I do. Three orders of fries, three cookies, and two sodas – a large for her.”
“Sure thing,” the waitress replies.
Circe pulls money out of the wallet of the stolen purse she is carrying.
“Oh, no, no – Wonder Woman saved that cop’s life today; saw it on the news,” she points to an old TV on a wall mount, “it’s on us.”
“Thank you,” Circe fakes a smile.
“Oh, do you have a map?” Circe asks.
“Sure thing,” the waitress yanks out a tattered map from aside an old push-button cash register. “Here you go.”
“Thanks again,” she takes the map and unfolds it as the waitress calls out the order to the cook. She pauses and looks at Wonder Woman, whom is just standing there and starting to draw un-needed conjecture from the diner’s patrons, “Go use the bathroom and come back. And wash your hands – this place is filthy.”
“Yes,” Wonder Woman replies and walks off.
Circe examines the map.
Hawk Girl and Green Lantern lean back against some controls as they talk. Superman and J’onn monitor various news sources.
“So there I was – just me and four other guys stuck in the middle of Yemen, our cover blown, and the rendezvous Chinook was not scheduled to come for another sixteen hours.”
“You couldn’t call for help?” Hawk Girl asks.
“We had to maintain radio silence at all times. A lot of shady people always listening over there.”
“I don’t know how you managed these things without a Green Lantern ring.”
“Hey – the few, the proud, baby.”
“I found something,” J’onn calls out.
“Did you just call me ‘baby’?” Hawk Girl asks as they walk over to J’onn.
“What do you have?” Superman asks, hovering near J’onn.
“A cable news network is reporting Wonder Woman was spotted half an hour ago in a small diner in North Carolina.”
“Good, then she’s still alive. They couldn’t have traveled that distance by car so quickly, so Circe must be using Wonder Woman to fly her there.”
“Agreed,” J’onn comments.
“Then we better find them soon, ’cause once she gets where she needs to go…” says Green Lantern.
Superman realized what Green Lantern was hinting it and finished it, “Wonder Woman will have out-lived her usefulness.”
All the patrons in the diner are silent as they watch the entrance door. It opens with Hawk Girl entering first, Green Lantern second, and Superman holding it open in a display of old-fashioned manners.
Superman notices the silence and stares, “It’s okay, folks – nothing to worry about.”
“Yeah, I’m sure Wonder Woman, Superman, Hawk Girl and Green Lantern come here all the time,” Hawk Girl says jokingly with some sarcasm to Superman.
“We understand Wonder Woman was in here not too long ago,” says Superman.
“Sure was,” the waitress replies.
“Tell us what happened,” Green Lantern asks her.
“Well, she came in here with this younger lady – maybe a new recruit? A friend? Maybe a really good friend?”
Green Lantern comments, “And we won’t be telling Flash that part.”
“Was it this woman?” Hawk Girl cuts to the chase, showing a print-out of Circe’s Arkham Asylum processing arrest photo with her holding up her prisoner plaque.
“Yeah, that looks like her. Got herself a fancy silver-colored dress and tan purse. I knew something was off about her, but figured she was all right if she was with Wonder Woman.”
Superman replies, “Her name is Lorelei Circe and she escaped from a Gotham City prison earlier today. We believe she is controlling Wonder Woman’s mind with some kind of device. Did she say where she was going?”
“No, barely said a word. She did ask to see a map.”
“May I see it?” Green Lantern asks.
“Sure thing, sweet cakes.”
“Thanks,” Green Lantern unfolds it and looks the map over, also using a green light from his ring.
“How are the pancakes?” Superman asks.
“Not bad. You a pancake guy?”
“I had more than I really needed back in my younger days.”
The waitress comes back with, “Oh, come now, Superman – nobody really needs pancakes.”
“Find anything, sweet cakes?” Hawk Girl taunts Green Lantern.
“I don’t see any fresh ink markings or anything that indicates where she’s going. Couldn’t have gone far, though; this map only covers a few counties.”
“What’s nearby?” Superman asks Green Lantern.
“Really not much. Except…”
“Except what?” Superman asks.
“Fort Bragg,” he points on the map.
Hawk Girl speaks up, “I don’t care what sort of mind control device she has, she can’t just waltz into a military base.”
“Yes, but with Wonder Woman under her control, who knows what could happen. She has a head start on us, but I’m faster than Wonder Woman, plus if she’s riding Wonder Woman, she’ll have to slow Wonder Woman down to hang on,” Superman turns and exits the diner, Hawk Girl and Green Lantern following behind him, “I’ll get there before you two.”
“What do we-”
Superman shoots off into the sky and speeds up quickly, vanishing in mere seconds, not even waiting to hear Green Lantern finish.
“…do. For once it would be nice to have a plan,” Green Lantern complains once again, with a familiar comment.
“What? And spoil the element of surprise? You’re faster than me – bubble me up,” Hawk Girl orders him.
Green Lantern creates a green sphere around Hawk Girl and flies off into the now dark sky.
The rising moon shines on Wonder Woman as she flies in the night sky.
Circe points, “There, that large area of lights over there. We’re about ten minutes from Fort Bragg. If Joker’s rambling stories are true, security probably hasn’t increased one bit. Fly down to the ground – we need to avoid radar.”
Wonder Woman drops quickly to the ground and flies mere feet over it. Circe grips her legs tightly around Wonder Woman and firmly with her arms around Wonder Woman’s neck.
“Faster! Fly in there as fast as you can! We’ll be too fast to trip the sensors and too fast for them to see at night!”
Wonder Woman increases her speed until the ground is a blur and Fort Bragg goes from being a steadily growing area of lights, to the equivalent of a ball flying at your face.
Wonder Woman flies over and by the perimeter fence in a flash; however, unknown to Circe, Wonder Woman’s speed and distance from the ground has kicked up a long dust cloud behind them which guards spot running up to the fence seconds after they pass it. Bright lights cut on everywhere and loud sirens go off. Wonder Woman hovers in place as Circe looks around.
“There! Those are underground nuclear missile silos. Break one open!”
“Yes,” Wonder Woman takes off as gunfire sprays in their direction.
Wonder Woman lands on the ground. Circe climbs off as Wonder Woman bends over and attempts to tear open a silo cover.
Superman comes to an abrupt stop at the entrance gate, hovering a few feet away from the guards in the air.
“Call you superiors – tell them to lock everything down. The intruder has some kind of mind controlling device and might turn one of us against you. More help is on the way,” he speeds off into the base. The gate guard picks up the booth phone.
Gun shots hit the ground not far from Wonder Woman. Circe hides behind her.
“Do that thing you do with your arm cuffs. Like they show on the news reports,” says Circe.
Wonder Woman bends her elbows, putting her forearms up and making fists. However, she just stands there and doesn’t move them, un-able to do quick reactionary moves while under hypnotic-like control. One bullet coincidently ricochets off a cuff.
“Oh, you’re useless,” Circe sees Superman coming, “but he’s not. Fly straight up until we’re out of range of the gun fire!” Circe climbs back onto Wonder Woman, who then shoots up.
Superman flies up after them. Base security stops firing once they see Superman. Circe looks down to make sure Superman is in pursuit.
“Can you breathe in space?” Circe asks Wonder Woman.
“Excellent. Thanks for the ride, but you’ve outlived your usefulness. I want you to keep flying until you reach the moon. Oh, and drop me.”
“Yes,” Wonder Woman straightens her trajectory as vertically as she can and shrugs off Circe.
Circe start tumbling to the ground. Superman spots her and darts straight for her. He slows to a stop and catches her in his arms.
“Lorelei Circe?” he asks.
“Oh, that name is so yesterday. Call me…” Circe thinks while hearing the base sirens go off, “Siren.”
“We’ve been looking for you. Nice of you to drop in,” Superman uses his X-ray vision to look Circe over. “Where’s the mind control device?” and he then takes off after Wonder Woman. Hawk Girl and Green Lantern are not far underneath him.
“Oh, okay – but only because you asked so nicely…” Circe opens her mouth.
Hawk Girl and Green Lantern see Superman stop, then spin around and swoosh passed them back to the base, without a word or look.
Hawk Girl comments, “Great, she’s got Superman.”
“What about Wonder Woman?” Green Lantern asks.
“There’s no time! With Superman under her control, the military will be unable to stop him. Wonder Woman is on her own. Come on!” Hawk Girl takes off after Superman. Green Lantern looks up, then down and joins Hawk Girl.
Superman lands on the ground. Circe hops down from his arms and Superman begins ripping the silo top off like a tuna can lid. Circe looks and sees Hawk Girl and Green Lantern approaching.
“Too slow – use your hear vision and slice the hatch door off!”
Hawk Girl and Green Lantern land a couple dozen feet away and walk toward them.
“Give it up, Circe!” Green Lantern demands.
“Does that ever work, seriously?” she retorts.
“You got no powers and no place to go, Circe,” Green Lantern replies back.
“Call me Siren.”
Hawk Girl replies back, “Circe, Siren, crazy bitch queen from the planet Hell – sure, I’ll call you whatever. Come along quietly, or I will pound you.”
“I think not. Superman, pound them,” Circe orders.
“Yes,” he finishes cutting the hatch open which then falls into the silo. He flies at them.
“Oh, crap,” Green Lantern says. Superman then slams into the green wall Green Lantern has formed, with such force that is shoves Green Lantern back a few feet and causes Green Lantern’s shoes to dig into the dirt.
Green Lantern drops to his knees and angles the wall to about fifteen degrees, causing Superman to fly off behind Green Lantern after slipping on the wall while applying force to it heavily.
“I’ll take care of Superman – you keep an eye on Siren,” Green Lantern says and then lights up in the Green Lantern ring power and flies off.
Hawk Girl looks at Circe, “Well, then it looks like you have a problem, Lorelei, I figured whatever you were using to control people’s minds probably used sound, so when brought ear plugs. Guess what I’m wearing? Yeah, I saw you serenade Superman up there. You’ll never guess what I have vision like,” she whacks her mace into her other hand.
Circe backs up, “Oh, damn – you caught me. There’s just a tiny problem, however.”
“What’s that?” Hawk Girl keeps closing in.
“The normal range of human hearing, which I suspect eve you have, is twenty to seventy Hertz.”
“And that’s a problem how?” Hawk Girl asks.
“Riddle me this,” says Circe.
“Riddle me this?” Hawk Girl repeats back, confused by the odd comment.
“What’s the range of an alpha wave?”
“Don’t know, don’t care,” Hawk Girl replies.
“Seven point five to fourteen Hertz.”
“Okay, you’ve done enough talking for today…”
Circe opens her mouth and a low rumble like a big speaker on with no music, comes out. Like a muscle relaxant on steroids, the muscles in Hawk Girl’s body relax. Her arms fall to her sides and her mace drops from the hand it was in. She struggles to stay standing on her feet.
Circe stops and comments to Hawk Girl, “Alpha waves induce deep relaxation.”
Hawk Girl replies, “When I come out of this, I’m pounding you into bat snot.”
“And there are delta waves, which induce deep sleep. Point five to four Hertz. You might as well not even be wearing ear plugs,” Circe opens her mouth and an even lower rumbling tone comes out, barely audible. Hawk Girl struggles to keep her eyes open, then yawns and finally falls asleep, collapsing to the ground.
J’onn walks to the communications panel and presses some buttons, “Batman.”
“Go ahead,” Batman’s voice comes back.
“I’m picking up reports of an attack on Fort Bragg. Wonder Woman, Hawk Girl, Green Lantern and Superman have all been spotted there.”
“I’ll take my Batplane – it’s faster. Should be there in ten minutes,” Batman runs away from his Batcave computer quickly.
“Batman, you can’t do that – the G-force without a suit might kill you. Batman?”
Wonder Woman is now so high up that the base is a small clump of lights below. So far away, the ambient noise is gone and only the soft sound of the wind blowing slowly up above is heard. Wonder Woman shakes from the cold air, but not enough to bring her out of the Siren’s spell. She continues higher and higher.
Green Lantern forms a sphere around Superman to try and stop him. Superman makes fists and slams them repeatedly into the sphere. The impacts are so hard that they push Green Lantern back each time. He grabs onto his wrist with the other free hand to give it support. Superman stops and looks directly at Green Lantern. His pupils glow red and he fires solid red beams at the sphere. The red energy blends into the green and suddenly breaks out and shoots out mere inches from Green Lantern’s head.
“Oh, crap,” Green Lantern flies away, avoiding stray lines of red beams.
Circe climbs down the hatch ladder into the silo. Two MP’s with rifles rush her, aiming squarely at her.
“Oh, thank goodness you’re here! Superman kidnapped me and now he’s fighting the Justice League and trying to do who knows what! They’re fighting and shooting lasers – I had to escape down here.”
One MP looks at the other, “Security did report one of them might attempt to take over the base.”
They lower their weapons.
“You can’t be in here, ma’am – it’s a restricted area and not safe,” says the other MP.
She opens her mouth and fills the silo with the high-pitched sine wave. They all go limp.
“You – scientist-looking guy – launch this missile!”
“Why not?” she asks angrily.
“Takes two keys,” the scientist replies, holding the one on a chain around his beck, then pointing to another scientist who was hiding in an adjacent room with a heat-shielded window.
Circe looks over at the scientist, who then locks the door, “You two – break that door down!” she points to it.
The two guards kick and ram into the door repeatedly. The panicked scientist backs up, then runs to another door inside the room, gets in, and the sturdy metal security door slams shut.
“UGH! You bastard!” Circe yells.
One of the guards fires on the door and the bullet ricochets in the silo.
“Stop firing! Why can’t they get into that room? Is that door made of metal or something?” Circe asks the scientist.
“Let me guess – the launch room isn’t here, is it?”
“No,” the scientist replies.
“Wait – is there some kind of emergency secret way to launch it from within here?” Circe asks.
“Yes. Top secret.”
Circe smiles, “Looks like your career is going to go out with a bang. Or a large boom in this case. Start the process – I’ll find another key. Guards, if anybody comes in here but me, kill them.”
“Yes,” both guards reply in unison.
Circe turns around and begins climbing back up the wall-mounted ladder.
Wonder Woman continues flying up to the moon. She shakes all over from the freezing cold upper atmosphere temperatures and wheezes loudly, struggling to breathe in the thin air at that height. Below her are partial glimpses of the Earth, blocked by atmospheric clouds that she is flying threw. Her vision becomes spotty and full of hazy random black patches. The air so thin now, she can no longer breathe and passes out. Her body keeps flying up, but decreases dramatically in speed before momentarily halting and then dropping.
Unconscious, Wonder Woman falls to her quickly to her death.
The distance in miles remaining until Fort Bragg is reached, count down rapidly on the computer screen in the Batplane. Once it reaches 200, Batman decelerates from mach one, slowly to a steady 800 MH; he keeps a steady eye out for other mile markers he’ll also need to decelerates on.
Wonder Woman’s arms and legs shift about wildly as she free falls back to the earth unconscious in the moonlight.
Superman chases after Green Lantern, almost literally on his heels, trying just inches from Green Lantern’s feet to grab a hold of them. Green Lantern speeds up, forms a Jai-alai scoop, catches Superman in it, and flicks Superman away. Superman slows himself to a stop and re-orients himself to see Green Lantern. His eyes start to glow red and when he’s about to fire, Wonder Woman’s body hits him over the head and continues to fall.
“Wonder Woman!” Green Lantern flies off quickly after her. Superman follows.
Circe watches as Green Lantern forms a sphere around Wonder Woman and heads toward her, Superman, too. They land and see Hawk Girl unconscious on the ground. Green Lantern brings Wonder Woman to himself, removing the sphere and just carrying her. He hears someone behind him and quickly turns to see Superman. He holds out his ring and it glows brightly.
“You wanna fight some more? Come get some.”
“It’s okay – whatever happened to me, I’m back. Apparently I literally have to get knocked over the head to get some sense knocked into me,” Superman then bends over to examine Hawk Girl. “What have you done to her?”
Circe replies, “Just told her a bed time story. Once upon a time there were men and a big bomb went off. The end.”
“I’ve had enough of your games,” Green Lantern approaches.
Circe opens her mouth and lets out of the sine wave tone. Superman falls back under and Wonder Woman, who was just coming to, falls back under as well. Except Green Lantern, who has formed a sphere around himself; the sphere vibrates like water on the top of a speaker cone playing music.
“Not this time, Circe.”
“Siren,” she stops briefly and continues with the tone.
“Whatever. Hawk Girl and I saw you doing it with your mouth, so I’m allowing the sphere to attune and vibrate to the sound waves so that frequency range can’t enter. The jigs up.”
“Oh, damn, if only I had thought of that. Oh, wait – I did. Did you know I’m a very talented singer?”
“Yeah, yeah, a chanteuse. Big whoop,” he starts walking over, figuring out how to move the sphere from around him, to around her.
“Better still – ever heard of Gregorian singers? They can sing two different notes at the same time. Ever heard an alpha wave before? Oh, you can’t – it’s below the range of human hearing. But your brain can. Let’s see if you can block both,” she opens her mouth and both come out.
Green Lantern tries to compensate by shifting the vibration rate around, but fails. His body’s muscles relax and the sphere dissipates.
“Good,” Circe looks on.
Circe sees a shadow cast before her from somebody behind her being lit up by a base search light. She turns around.
“Batman. I was hoping you’d show.”
“Funs over, Circe. There’s a cell with your name on it in the maximum security wing of Arkham,” he walks over steadily, darkened in front by the bright light on his back.
Circe’s smug smile disappears, “Not this time, Batman. You’re gonna climb down into that silo with me and override the launch sequence lock out. And then maybe I’ll let you live.”
“You’re as crazy as the Joker. Lady – what’s your problem?”
“Oh, nothing personal – I just kinda hate all men,” she smiles.
“And in this fantasy where I go down in the silo to help you commit genocide, are there also elves and unicorns?”
Circe purses her lips, “You’ll help me or else your friends Superman and Green Lantern will make you.”
“I don’t care who you get to push me around – I’ll never comply with your insanity.”
Circe finally gets a look of anger on her face, “You have to! If I put you … you’ll probably not be conscious enough to figure out…” she stops and thinks for a couple of seconds, “fine – we’ll do it my way,” she opens her mouth and lets out the high-pitched sine wave.
Batman immediately covers his ears and backs up slowly.
“No!” Batman drops to his knees and clenches his teeth. Then he stops and his hands fall to his sides.
“Stand up,” she orders.
“Yes, Circe,” Batman stands up.
“Climb down into that silo and override the security system to launch the nuclear missile,” she points.
“Yes, Circe,” he begins walking over.
“Superman – once we’re in there, rip that silo dome off; I don’t want any more delays.”
As Batman and Circe climb down, Superman begins ripping the dome off.
“Guards – he’s allowed in,” Circe calls out.
“Yes,” both call back in unison.
Batman steps onto the catwalk service floor of the silo, followed by Circe. The dome is finally ripped off.
“Batman, can you get that door open?” she points to the control room.
“Yes, Circe,” he pulls out a metal wire grappling hook shooter with a pointed end an aims. He fires it and it buries into the control panel for the door. He presses a button and the line crackles with electricity and blows out the panel. The door opens.
Circe runs in but doesn’t spot the second key needed to normally launch. She tries the computer, but finds it locked out. She points at the computer after straightening up, when she looks at Batman, “Break into the computer and launch the missiles.”
“Yes, Circe,” Batman sits and begins typing fast.
Circe claps her hands together and smiles, almost giddy with excitement.
“Where to fire, where to fire? I got it – Congress! The American people will know I’m serious then. Hell, they might even thank me, make me queen. Target the missile to hit in between the Senate and the House of Representatives!”
“And shit off those damn alarms!”
“Yes, Circe,” he types and a few seconds later the alarms shut off.
“The Joker, the Riddler, the Toy Man, Lex Luthor – I’ve finally done what none of those incompetent men could: defeat the Justice League. Oh, I know – the Flash isn’t here, but if he shows I’ll just tell him to slam into a brick wall at full speed. I hear he’s human – probably make a big splat on some wall.”
The computer speaks over the intercom in the room and outside it: “System Override accessed. System overridden.”
“Yes! Well, let’s waste no time. Once Washington finds out a nuclear missile system has been overridden, they’ll start evacuating Congress. Give it a two minute countdown so I can get out of here and to safety.”
“And you and the guards just stay right here and watch it launch. Activate the countdown!”
“Yes, Circe,” he moves a finger to the enter button as Circe runs out to the ladder. He presses it.
Suddenly a loud sound like the fuzzy sound of a channel that doesn’t exist on an old rabbit ears television, blares over the intercom and over the outside speakers.
Circe stops and covers her ears. She runs back to the control room, “What are you doing, you idiot?”
Batman stands up and presses a few buttons and the intercom in the room cuts off, “It’s called white noise. Right now Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Hawk Girl and Superman are all waking up from the hypnotic state you put them in.”
“I don’t know how you got out of it…” she reaches behind herself and slams the door shut, blocking out the white noise, “but you’re about to go back,” she opens wide and lets out the sine wave.
Batman walks up to her, unphased and in complete control.
“That’s impossible! No man can resist the Siren’s song!”
“When out ear piece communicators crackled and damaged their cones, I realized that you had to be controlling people’s minds with some kind of sound generating device. However, since Mad Hatter had no such device, I took a gamble that you were somehow able to make that sound s with your vocal chords.”
“I’d love to stay and chat…” Circe turns around to exit the room, but sees Hawk Girl, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Superman all there with their arms folded, not looking too happy. She turns back around.
“My cape and cowl have a Faraday mesh built in to protect my ear piece and devices from an EMP blast. The frequency range of an EMP wave covers the human range of hearing. Furthermore, the presence of not one but two guns just dropped to the ground gave you away. I knew then you were somehow able to produce sounds outside the human ear’s ability to process; I added an extra layer of shielding inside my cowl to block alpha, beta, delta, gamma and theta waves. I played along until I could get access to a computer to use to transmit the white noise over speakers with. Normally the Joker and the Riddler are smart enough not to allow me access to anything that might potentially stop them.”
“Agh!” Circe punches Batman in the stomach.
Batman looks down, then back up, not even moving a fraction of an inch from the punch, “Really?”
“You wouldn’t hit a pretty powerless girl like me, would you?” she smiles innocently.
“You’re right, I probably wouldn’t,” he locks hand cuffs on her wrists, “And for your information, Catwoman is a much better looking criminal.”
“Arrr…” she growls angrily.
Batman ties a scarf around her head, covering her mouth, “This is also fitted with a Faraday mesh and wave blocking materials,” Batman then walks back to the keyboard and types until the white noise is shut off.
The door opens and Batman escorts Circe out.
“Can I hit her? Just once. It’s okay if I do it – I’m a woman,” Hawk Girl says angrily, looking to hit something.
“No,” Batman replies as he takes the grappling wire out of the panel and rolls it up to fit in a belt pouch.
“Here,” I’ll fly you both up since she can’t climb,” says Superman.
Superman grabs a hold of Batman and Circe with his arms and flies up. Hawk Girl and Green Lantern stay behind to check on the guards.
Once a few feet away from the silo, he land and lets both of them go. He walks with them as the Batplane lowers to the ground after Batman signals it with the controls in his belt buckle.
“So…” says Superman, “have a thing for Catwoman, do you?”
Batman gives Superman the bat-glare.
“Still have super hearing, even over white noise.”
Batman stops under the hovering Batplane and pulls out a grappling hook, “I’ll handle it from here. This is a Gotham City police department problem now,” he fires straight up into the Batplane; it catches and he pulls it taut to make sure it is secure.
“Wait a second – she nearly killed tons of people, made us battle each other, and controlled us like puppets – don’t you have anything to say?” asks Superman.
“Obliged,” he presses the retract button and it rolls up fast into the Batplane. The belly door closes.
Hawk Girl and Green Lantern fly over to Superman and land to each side of him. Wonder Woman goes around checking on soldiers.
“Everything good here?” Hawk Girl asks.
“I explained what happened to base command. They wanna brief us before we leave.”
The Batplane flies up and away into the moonlit night sky.
Hours later at Arkham Asylum. Inside, a guard escorts Circe into the maximum security wing hall while Batman and Gordon follow behind. They pass by Tetch’s empty cell.
Penguin looks out from his bed, “Ah, a beautiful girl who can sing and loves Bach that isn’t a professional singer or in an orchestra – I should have known it was too good to be true.”
Gordon speaks, “the warden has temporarily assigned her a violent offender cell with just a food slot that has a lock on it so she can’t sing to anyone.”
“And I’ll provide ear and head protection so she can’t control guards minds,” Batman offers.
“Thanks. It’ll have to do until we can think of a better solution.”
They pass by the Riddler’s cell. He looks at her, “I can’t believe I used to date you.”
They all stop at a cell with no bars, just a metal door. The guard unlocks it and opens it.
“Circe, the guard is going to un-cuff you. You will walk into the cell and once the door is closed, you may untie that thing covering your mouth,” says Gordon.
The guard removes the handcuffs and Circe walks in. The guard closes the cell door and locks it.
“Thank you, guards. You may leave us now.”
The guard walks away to the hall exit door.
“Unfortunately, Batman, whatever we do here is only temporary. Knowing the unfortunate revolving door system Arkham has become, even Circe is likely to get out years from now. It’s ironic,” he walks with Batman back to the exit, “the very thing she could have made a living off of, her voice, might have to go in order to rejoin society. I don’t know what the legalities are, but she’ll probably have to go under the knife in an operation to get rid of her vocal abilities. And it gives me to pleasure to say that even though she did try to get me killed. Which, by the way, thanks for preventing.”
“No problem,” he and Gordon reach the end.
The view pans back to her cell, then cross fades into her cell where she is on her knees and looking down at the floor as she clenches her fists.
“I know why the caged little bird sings … and this little bird will sing again…..” the view fades to black as the lights shut back off for the night.