by CSyphrett, Martin Maenza and Doc Quantum
As Timothy Hunter unpacked his bags and began making himself at home in the student dormitory called Zatara Hall, he had mixed feelings. He would miss his dad terribly, he knew, and already he had to fight to keep from tearing up at the thought that he wouldn’t be able to eat his dad’s chocolate-flavored pancakes every morning. Sure, he would be able to go home three times during the year, and then live there again for a two-month-long break in November and December, but that wouldn’t be for a long time, now. Still, he’d known other boys who had gone away to boarding school, so he tried to keep from feeling too sorry for himself.
He was also very happy that he and his new friend, Rick Billings, would not be split up, after all. The two had been among the few chosen from the various Earths for Zatara Hall, and they had even been able to get beds next to each other in the dormitory. Tim knew he would need the help of some good friends if he was going to survive the next six years before graduation.
After nightfall, Abby Cable thought over her first day on the island as she sat in a plush easy chair in her bungalow. After having a tour, she was feeling a bit more at ease about her decision to come to the school and teach. It would give her something to do to fill the empty days, now that Alec was gone.
She glanced at the small television set on a roller stand in the corner. She hadn’t had a use for a television in Houma, but now it was something to look at before she tried to come up with a lesson plan for the morning. That and it gave her a connection to the outside world. Though the island was isolated, it was amazing that she could actually get some reception here.
Retrieving the remote from the stand, Abby returned to her seat, clicking the TV on with a thumb.
“This is Britt Reid with Channel One News at Six,” said an anchorman as the screen lit up. “Our top story today is the arrest of Dwight Wicker, former head of the DDI, a formerly top-secret division of U.S. Army Intelligence.”
Abby stared at the screen, frozen in her chair as a small clip showed Wicker being led out of his house by federal agents. “Oh, my gosh!” she exclaimed.
The picture returned to Reid in the studio. He looked squarely into the camera. “Wicker was implicated earlier in a plot to enrage and destroy the monstrous Swamp Thing with the help of notorious villain Lex Luthor by anonymous leaks of information and a recording obtained by the media from undisclosed sources. Wicker denied his involvement in the conspiracy that resulted in massive property damage to Gotham City by Swamp Thing.
“Finally, one of the men involved stepped forward and testified before the Intelligence Oversight Committee. This informer is in protective custody until after Wicker’s federal trial. He was, quote, ‘urged by a Nemesis to come forward and ease his conscience.’ The trial date has not been set. Dwight Wicker claims he will be proven innocent in a–“
Abby shut the television off. She set the remote down on the floor by her chair and buried her face in her hands.
She sat like that for a very long time.
Cain, keeper of the House of Mystery, walked into a room in a garret. He held a feather duster in one hand, which he then used to brush over the crystal ball on a stand in the center of the room.
A diorama glowed slightly in the glass from reflected light. The display was of a round landmass with mountains, beaches, and buildings.
If one had a magnifying glass, one could almost peer into a window of an almost microscopic cottage and see a woman sitting and crying in the light of a miniature lamp.
Cain finished his dusting and left the room.