Hawkman and Hawkwoman: Mind Games, Chapter 2: Five Billion Dreams

by Libbylawrence

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Shayera Hol was carried to Superman’s Fortress of Solitude in the Arctic, where the green-skinned aliens and their villainous human pawns like Mammoth of the Fearsome Five unloaded their supplies.

They’ve bypassed the security. The only way to do that would be to have Superman’s own codes. I guess his slumbering mind yielded such precious data… almost like the Absorbascon, she thought with a shudder.

The Absorbascon allowed the user to read the minds of most people. However, Kryptonians were perhaps immune to the Thanagarian technology. She realized that this new device that utilized the Black Mercy plant must be different to some degree.

Still, the idea that the science she used regularly for the betterment of mankind could be so close to weapons of invasion and conquest disturbed the gorgeous woman.

Perhaps I’m immune to the Black Mercy dreams due to the means used to disseminate the hypnotic effects, she realized. I think the real plant could only hurt one person at a time. They’ve somehow focused the effects globally. That would be very close to our own Absorbascon.

Then, all at once, the crate shattered around her.

“Well done, Mammoth. You brought our foe right to us,” sneered a woman with green skin and a purple robe.

“As you command, Mistress Syryna,” he grunted.

Shayera kicked him in the face and punched him with all her might. She was stronger than a normal human, yet he resisted her best efforts.

Slay her!” ordered the Empress Syryna.

Shayera glanced around the Fortress. What can I do to stop this brute? she wondered.

The feather femme fatale flew out of his reach and dodged ray beams as other alien soldiers fired upon her agile form. She kicked open a cage, and a brightly colored animal hopped out. This pet may be the distraction I need, if it’s anything like a species I saw once on Rann, she thought.

The animal was frightened by the noise and reacted with devastating results. It howled with a high-intensity pitch that brought even the massive Mammoth to his knees and sent Syryna and her troops screaming to the floor.

Hawkwoman had jammed her ears with a barrage of static from within her cybernetic helmet. This is maddening, but at least it shields my sense of balance from the creature’s dizzying cry, she thought.

She zoomed downward and slammed both legs directly into the staggering Mammoth, who fell over on top of aliens. She flew toward another level of the vast structure. As the other troops came into view, she removed her wings and posed seductively. “Could one of you big, strong men help a girl?” she cooed in her best baby talk.

As they rushed toward her, she mentally directed her wings and the belt she had looped with them. They shot across the room as the aliens surrounded her. The wings then hit a switch on a red device as Shayera jumped clear.

“Buh-bye!” she joked as the Phantom Zone ray sent them all elsewhere. She clicked it off and redressed.

“Kal says it now leads to some other realm. (*) I’ll worry about that later. Tomorrow is another day, as that Southern belle Scarlet O’Hara once said,” she sighed.

[(*) Editor’s note: Hawkwoman has not yet been informed that the Phantom Zone was restored in World of New Krypton: Supergirl and Valor: Homecoming.]

Syryna climbed toward the Thanagarian temptress. “My men are dazed, but my forces are not all I command,” she said with an evil sneer. “Thanks to my partner, I can summon aid. You’ll know a few of my troops.”

Hawkwoman gasped as heroes and heroines she cared for or respected came racing into view.

A powerful blonde in a stylized Superman costume flew toward Shayera. Supergirl! If he has her under his control, then I’m in deep trouble, she mused.

The girl named Lydia-7 was a heroine, but under the same dream-like conditioning as the villains such as Mammoth, she and her allies could easily kill Hawkwoman.

Shayera kicked the agile Black Lightning in the face and pushed the agressive Hawk into his path. The current from one stunned the other long enough for her to escape from the speeding Supergirl.

She soared toward a lead-lined row of boxes and tossed one at Lydia. She gasped as red kryptonite came into range, and she suddenly turned into a mermaid with a tail. Lifting her into a water tank near the zoo, Shayera sighed with relief.

“That should hold her until it wears off. I’m lucky it was not the kind that splits a person into two beings,” she said, smiling.

She groaned as an arrow impacted in her stomach. “Boxing glove arrow!” she gasped and saw Green Arrow draw another arrow from his quiver. “Sorry, G.A. This has nothing to do with the way you and Katar used to argue — well, almost nothing,” she said and punched him across the room.

Black Canary tossed back her head to use the sonic canary cry, and Hawkwoman hurled an arrow from Green Arrow’s fallen quiver at her. The top erupted into a smothering goo that muffled her cries long enough for Hawkwoman to pull away from the rope-like arms of the Elongated Man.

She saw the shadow above her a second before Batman pounced and tore her wing harness free. She crashed into the floor without the steering capabilities she was so used to having. Shayera rolled across the room as Batman dropped down with a rope spinning in his glove. He was as grim as ever but showed little sign of having any free will. She took her helmet off and knocked the rope out of his hand with a well-aimed toss. Then she jumped forward to retrieve her wings.

Hawkwoman scrambled madly across the floor and yelped as the gaseous form of Metamorpho swelled up around her. Choking, she fought free and used her wings to blow him into Batman, who fell suddenly.

Definitely slower than normal,” she mused, then flew straight into Superman himself.

Superman blocked her path with his mere presence. She felt her heart sink as she faced the hero of heroes. She frowned as he swatted her down with one blow.

A yellow-skinned giant loomed above him. “Mongul!” she gasped as her world began to fade to black.

***

Hawkwoman woke up sometime later to find herself facing the alien conquerer Mongul, who wore a weird flowering plant around his neck that she recognized as the Black Mercy. Superman, Batman, and the other enslaved heroes stood in an honor guard nearby, while from below Shayera detected the sounds of Syryna’s troops.

“You know, I never once expected that a female of your world could ever cause me so much trouble,” he said.

“That plant is the Black Mercy. It creates those realistic dreams in its victims,” she said.

Mongul laughed, “Indeed it does, child. I have good reason to respect its capabilities as a weapon. Thus, when the dethroned Empress Syryna approached me with the request that I aid her in regaining the throne of her dimension of Elykaar, I saw the potential in combining the Mercy’s dream power with her own race’s mind-scanning devices. We effectively broadcast the Black Mercy spell over your whole world. I wished to do it as revenge upon the Kryptonian and his ilk.”

Hawkwoman frowned. “The power to do so must be staggering. You can’t hold the world for long, so you’ve sent the mind-controlled villains to gather weapons while using the heroes to take over the Fortress itself. The villains were allowed more personal freedom to speak and so forth, while you’ve been forced to make the heroes literally sleepwalkers of a kind.”

Mongul smiled luridly. “Attractive and bright!”

Hawkwoman realized that the mind-scanner of Syryna’s world was close to her own Absorbascon, and thus had provided her with a unique immunity due to her frequent use of her own electronic brain. This gives me an idea, she thought.

“Your friends and their foes will help us conquer this world and use it as the staging ground for the attack on Elykaar,” continued Mongul. “See how Superman smiles as he obeys my orders? Even as he struck you, he was kissing some female he adores in his narcotic trance,” he sneered.

Shayera saw the plant’s tendril as it attached to a grid that resembled the interior of her Absorbascon. She moved with the agility of one long trained for battle and reversed the flow of broadcast.

The dreams of almost five billion Earthlings flooded backward into Mongul’s mind, and he screamed before falling to the ground in pain.

Superman and the other heroes then woke up, and Shayera quickly ordered them to stop Syryna and her troops.

With the power of Superman, Supergirl, and the rest, the green-hued alien woman was quickly a captive.

“We’ll just return you to your home for trial,” said Superman with a smile.

Mongul lay inert and helpless as his mind remained a shattered shell, even after the Black Mercy was removed and secured.

Hawkwoman saw that her friends were safe, as was the world’s populace. After a brief conference with her fellow Justice Leaguers and other heroes, she flew back to her home in Midway City and, after a quick shower, headed for bed.

She awoke again hours later as Katar Hol bent over her sleepy form and kissed her. “Wake up, Shay! Did I miss anything while I was gone?” he asked.

The End

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