The Conglomerate: Conglomeration and Amalgamation, Chapter 2: Justice League International

by JSAGL

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Detroit, today:

“And as chairman of the spankin’ new Conglomerate, I hereby call this meeting ta order.”

Guy Gardner banged his ring-made gavel on the table. He looked around at the faces that beamed back at him. To his left, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Black Canary, and Hawkwoman sat. To his right were Fire, Ice, Batgirl, Firehawk, and Arisia.

“Now, the first order of business is ta elect a permanent chairman,” Guy said.

Superman spoke, smiling that smile like no other could, “I believe you would be the most qualified, Guy. Metropolis keeps me pretty busy, and I would feel safe with you in charge.”

“I agree,” Batman said. “Even though I am not much of a group person, with the exception of the Outsiders and the JLA and now the Conglomerate, I can’t think of a better person to lead this group than Earth’s one, true Green Lantern.”

“That’s true, Batman. Everything I learned as a members of the Corps I learned from Guy,” Arisia said.

“Oh, Guy, I think you know we all love you, especially me!” Ice cooed, a look of love in her eye.

“You guys are makin’ me blush. I accept your nomination. Fire, you been awfully quiet. What do you think?”

Fire winked at Guy and licked her lips. “Guy, this is the most pathetic thing I’ve ever seen.”

Her voice had not come from those lips, however, and Guy snapped his head around to the doorway where Fire’s voice had come from. He looked back to the table, and even though everyone had been in living color before, they were now all emerald green. They all quickly vanished, leaving Guy alone in the room with Fire.

“I… I musta dozed off!”

“You were supposed to be checking out all the equipment to make sure we’re ready to roll.”

Guy started scanning the room with his green beam. “See, I’m working! Uh, you won’t tell anybody about this, will ya?”

Fire shook her head and laughed, “Oh, Guy, you know how much we all love you!

Guy fumed as Fire left the room, her laughter echoing throughout the bunker.

***

Elsewhere:

“So, you want me to join your little group?”

Catherine Cobert shook her hair out of her face. “This group will be more than a little one, Mr. Mason. It will be an international group, fully sanctioned by the United Nations.”

“Sounds interesting,” Rex Mason said, obviously uncomfortable under his human mask, “but I’ve already got a group: the Outsiders. Sorry, but Metamorpho says no.”

***

A week later:

The limousine pulled up outside the club. Not an unusual occurrence in and of itself, but the passenger was not the typical patron of this particular venue. The driver exited her door and went back to open the passenger door: out stepped Maxwell Lord in a $2,500-dollar Armani suit. As he approached the entrance, two burly looking security guards blocked his path. Both were at least a foot taller than Max and much more muscular.

The one to his right spoke, “Your kind isn’t welcome here.”

Max looked at them for a minute. He contemplated doing the usual, but he didn’t want to get any blood on his suit. He looked at their badges for a moment and then spoke: “Thelma, Louise, would you let Rob Lowe in here if he was standing in front of you?”

Thelma looked at Louise and laughed. “Hell, no. We don’t allow that kind of p^$$% in here!”

“What about Benjamin Franklin?”

“Considering he’s dead, yeah, why not?”

Max pulled out his billfold. “How about six of him?”

Moments later, Max entered the club. He could feel the pulse of the music. It was something new they called the Orlando sound. All Max knew for sure is that it wasn’t Tony Bennett, which made it crap. He scanned the club. All around him he saw sweaty female bodies gyrating and moving. Some were topless. Some shouldn’t have been. I’ve died and gone to heaven. No, make that hell. All these beautiful women and none interested in men.

As Max approached the bar, the bartender gave him an evil look. “How the hell did you get in here?”

“Thelma and I used to date.”

The bartender let out a giant, “Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!” When she recovered she said, “You’re all right for someone with a Y-chromosome. What’ll you have?”

“A bottle of champagne. I’m feeling lucky tonight.”

“Pal, you’re gonna need more than champagne to get lucky in here tonight.”

As Max sipped his champagne, he saw a woman with platinum-blond hair approach the bar. She was stunning, to say the least. Max decided to make his move. “So, what’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?”

The woman looked at him. “Are you retarded?” she replied in English with a slight Nordic accent. “Have you noticed that there are only women in this club? You rich guys are so pathetic. You think money can buy you anything. Well, newsflash, this is a lesbian bar, and lesbian does not mean just hasn’t found the right man.” She took her drink and started off.

“Perhaps not, Sigrid, but that’s not why I’m here.”

Sigrid Nansen stopped dead in her tracks. She did an about face and looked at Max. “How did you know my name?”

Max smiled that snake-oil salesman smile of his. “Name’s Maxwell Lord. I’ve got a proposition for you, and no, not that kind.”

Sigrid sat on the stool next to Max. “I’m listening.”

***

Paris, France:

In the executive offices of Revson Cosmetics, Vivian d’Aramis was greeted by an old friend. “Catherine!”

The two women embraced and kissed each other on the cheek as was the French custom (not to be confused with any customs in the previous scene).

“Vivian, it is wonderful to see you again. I trust that Constance is well?”

Vivian motioned for Catherine to take a seat. “Oui, but if I know Catherine Cobert, and I think I do, you came for reasons other than social ones, non?”

Catherine had to laugh at that. “As always, the more perceptive sister. You are correct. I have come to offer the Crimson Fox membership in the new Justice League International.”

Vivian’s face turned white. “Crimson Fox? What does she have to do with me?

“Vivian, I know that you and Constance share the identity of the Fox. You may be able to fool others, but not your own sorority sister.”

Vivian studied Catherine’s face for a moment. She knew there would be no point in denial. “All right, tell me about this Justice League International.”

***

Detroit:

“I hereby call this first meeting of the Conglomerate to order…”

Guy banged the gavel on the table. Fire, Ice, and Animal Man were seated.

“Any old business?”

Silence.

“Any new business?”

Silence.

Guy hung his head down. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all.

***

Gotham City:

“Justice League International?

Metamorpho was seated at the Outsiders meeting table as Batman stood a few feet away from him. “That’s what she said, Bats: Justice League International. It sounded kind of fishy to me, so I’m telling you about it.”

Batman went to the computer terminal and pressed a button. The view-screen came to life to show Black Canary. “Canary, I need you to locate J’onn for me. I’ve tried his communicator frequency, but I get no response.”

The Canary smiled. “Well, hello to you, too, Batman. Yes, I’m fine. What’s that? Oh, Ollie’s good, too. To answer your question, J’onn’s out for a night on the town with Nubia, which may be why he’s not answering.”

“I see. Send someone out to find him. I’m calling a meeting of the Justice League International.”

“The what?” Dinah said, not sure if she heard Batman correctly.

“You heard me correctly.”

***

Beatriz da Costa sat in her room at Conglomerate Headquarters and wondered what she was even doing here. The Beetle was dead. Sargon the Sorcerer was gone now, running on almost two months. Now there were only four left. How could this team function with just four members? Maybe it was time to just let the dream die the way Ted had. She decided it was time to get Tora and go home. I wonder if Doctor Mist will take us back.

As Bea headed out of her room, the whole building began to shake. “Madre de Dios! What is happening?” She was quickly joined by the other three in the monitor room.

“What’s going on, Guy?” Ice asked as she tried to maintain her balance.

“Damned if I know. The computer says it’s an earthquake,” Guy responded.

“There aren’t earthquakes in Michigan, Guy,” Animal Man said as he almost fell.

Before Guy could respond, a voice boomed through the bunker: “Come out and face us, Justice League! If you dare…”

A grin crossed Guy’s face. “All right! Let’s get ready ta rumble!”

Fire grabbed Guy’s arm. “Hold it, Guy. Whoever that is out there thinks we’re the Justice League. Are we ready to take on one of the JLA’s foes?”

“Better question is, babe, are they ready ta take us on? C’mon!” Guy was gone before the other three could even start moving.

“Oh no, Guy!” Ice squealed. “Oh, he’s going to get himself hurt. I thought we were supposed to be a team!

As Guy phased through the top of the bunker, he saw a group of costumed people floating in midair. One he definitely recognized.

“Major Disaster! I should’a known. And who the hell are these clowns?”

Disaster sneered at Guy. “So you’ve taken Jordan’s place in the League? No matter. Even you are no match for the might of the new Injustice League: Major Disaster, Multi-Man, Cluemaster, Clock King, and someone you may already be familiar with.”

A figure descended from the clouds and landed right in front of Guy — a fuzzy figure.

“I don’t know how this Justice League turned you to the dark side, Mr. Gardner, but I’ve got to take you in, otherwise, my name isn’t G’nort Esplanade Gneesmacher, the one, true Green Lantern.”

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