Justice League of America: Off on a Tangent, Chapter 2: Clash of Evolved Minds

by Libbylawrence

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Aquaman seemed a bit disconcerted as the teen Flash gazed at him adoringly. “Uh, yes. Well, you have been brought here via teleportation of a kind, not unlike our own transponder. Reddy, here, says you are not the only natives of your world to arrive here at that time.”

“Red Tornado!” said Lia. “Like, that was the chemical used on our guys during the Czech conflict!”

“I assure you I am humanoid, not chemical in nature,” said John Smith, the Red Tornado. “My computer scan indicates that others from your world were brought here when you came. They were separated from you, apparently.”

Joker bounced over to sit on Hawkman’s lap. “Let’s go nest!” she cooed.

Shayera Hol gently pushed the Joker off her startled husband and said, “He’s already spoken for.”

Hawkman grinned. “Right! I’ve got my own girl sidekick.”

Hawkwoman frowned at him and said, “Shall we go track down your other natives and help you all return home?”

Joker chanted, “Polly want a crack-up! Cheep-cheep!

“We should be able to locate them via the same residual energy you folks emit,” said Black Canary.

“We’d better hurry,” said the Flash. “Hawkwoman’s looking ready to beat the tar out of Joker. It’s like watching a female version of the old Green Arrow-Hawkman fights, or so legend has it!”

“Thank you all,” said Atom. “This new world is a bit unsettling, but it’s nice to find heroes here as well.”

“Truly, it is,” said Plastic Man. “Plus, I am pleased to see one world where the Cuban incident did not occur. We’ve gone back in time as well, but the S.E. is intact!”

Spectre said, “Do you think we have counterparts on this world and these heroes exist as well on ours?”

Manhunter said, “Quit building castles in the air, egghead!”

The Elongated Man grinned. “Nice dog! Do you feed it scrap metal?”

She glared at him as they departed to find the others who came over to Earth-One.

***

The heroes soon reached a spacious estate outside Chicago.

“Odd. This looks like the place, yet it seems to be a private dwelling,” mused Atom. “Why would these others all congregate here? I saw some of my old foes from the former Fatal Five, along with the mysterious Black Orchid. They definitely don’t hang out together!”

Flash said to the Flash, “It’s sooo rad to meet another Flash! I met one before, but she was totally Shannon. Tried to kill me and ripped my dress!”

The Flash of the JLA replied, “I’d met a Reverse-Flash before, myself.”

“So tell me about your Atlantis,” said Aquaman. “You say it is where Georgia used to be?”

“Right,” said Spectre. “The Cuban missile deal destroyed the whole area. It’s occupied below sea level by fish-men called Sea Devils.”

Aquaman listened intently. “Fascinating! I’ve found the sea always seems capable of sustaining some form of life!”

Hawkwoman said nothing as Joker winked at Hawkman. He tried to remain impassive until the situation could be ended. He dreaded the night ahead.

Red Tornado and Plastic Man talked quietly. “Your true form merges with this synthetic body. I find that interesting,” said Tornado. “You seem to be accepted fully by your peers.”

Plas replied, “Yes. They know me for a man despite my synthetic form. I can change back and forth as needed, too!”

“Change to pulp!” screeched an armored man who blasted out a window and attacked.

Deathstroke! thought Atom as he ordered his team into action.

The Flash raced around the darkly beautiful woman in the revealing purple dress and heels. Her air should have been swept away by my whirlwind, yet she seems unfazed! thought Wally.

“Ah’m not entirely unfazed by your manly vigor, sugah!” she drawled. “Sadly, ah’m a girl who likes the hands-on approach!” Her hands touched his blurring form from behind.

Energy began to drain from his fleet form as the illusion before him faded away, and Black Orchid attacked with her potent magic.

Red Tornado generated a whirlwind all his own as he tried to push back a guy in a trenchcoat. A weird little sphere hovered in the air and seemed to speak to the man.

“Hex is the name, and when you’re this cool, one name says it all!” he said, and as the villain’s magicks flashed, Reddy began to lose control of his winds.

The Elongated Man stretched out to snake around a bizarre snake-man called King Kobra. “You fail to equal my pliable form. Plus, my bite carries venom!” hissed the creature as he tried to pierce Ralph’s arm.

Icy spears rained toward the Hawks as they dodged the onslaught of a woman called Ice.

Aquaman, meanwhile, faced some mental bolts from the dimunitive Kid Psycho. “My own telepathy gives me some protection, but this man has a power beyond my own!” said a struggling but determined Aquaman.

Black Canary confronted a pretty blonde girl in pink fishnet hose and a pink minidress. “Honey, you don’t have to fight me,” she said. “I want to help you get home!”

The little blonde pursed her pink lips and said, “Shazam!” She turned into a werewolf and clawed at the startled Canary.

Black Canary flipped backward and used her momentum to send the female wolf over her head. She rolled aside as the newest arrival — the Warlord — slammed a mace near her head. She kicked it from his hand and sang her sonic canary cry. He gasped at this and fell down hard, as did the frightened Wildcat.

Hawkman and Hawkwoman needed no words to perfectly match each other in intent and action. As he occupied Ice by swooping ever closer to the icy projectiles she created from thin air, Hawkwoman tossed her mace into the house’s drain pipe and watched with satisfaction as it dropped down to knock the villainess out. She smiled. “I just knocked Ice cold! Even that clown girl should apreciate that!”

Aquaman fought his way forward past blinding mental bolts until he was close enough to knock his own foe Kid Psycho out with a mighty right hook. “Neptune’s beard, that little shrimp fought like a shark!” he mused as he rubbed his aching temple.

The Flash vanished into the Earth and emerged to land shattering blows upon the armored Deathstroke. His protective armor broke suddenly like an eggshell. The old switch-enemies ploy usually was a winner.

Black Orchid found her new foe to be the swift-flying Hawkwoman, who landed both knees in her face and left the sensual witch stunned. “She wilted!” quipped Shiera.

The Elongated Man flexed out of King Kobra’s embrace to wrap his arms around the man called Hex. As the cocky blond lost the ability to speak clearly, his spell faded, and Reddy used a swift whirlwind to daze the snake-man.

“We did it, and with no help from you!” said Hawkwoman to Joker.

“Give us a kiss!” cried the clown.

Even as Shayera slapped Joker’s narcotic lips away, the clown’s hands grasped the feathered femme fatale, and an electric shock from a joy buzzer rocked her to the floor. Hawkman charged toward the giddy clown and received a super-strong blow from Atom. The teen Flash imprisoned Elongated Man and Red Tornado within sol-hols before they could react. Manhunter’s cyber-hound slammed the Canary to ground with stunning force, and the Flash gasped as the spectral touch of Spectre shocked his system, and he passed out as well.

Aquaman punched through Plastic Man’s pliable form and whirled to kick Manhunter aside. “You were luring us here all along!” he said.

A beautiful blonde in a red dress appeared next to an inhuman figure who hovered in the air. “But of course we were,” she purred. “No sooner did these heroes appear like a gift from the fates, than we mentally enslaved them along with their companions. By using the one to lull you here into our clutches, we gained all we desired, handsome!”

“Indeed!” mentally echoed the words of Future Man. “We first planned another ploy entirely, but my psychologist’s fascination with you costumed types prompted me to aid Brains in her grab for the technical secrets of your headquarters!”

“Right,” said Brains. “Through you I hope to use your satellite technology for a facelift, or upgrade, if you prefer!”

Aquaman frowned and said, “Not if I can stop you!” He pressed his stylized belt buckle and frowned.

“Ah-ah-ah!” sneered Brain as she fluffed her blonde hair. “Don’t count on using the prearranged teleport signal the robot set up before you left your headquarters. True, by keying in on the exact frequency used to bring Atom and the rest here, you might have sent them all back. However, Future Man and my reasoning ability makes your minds and plans an open book to us!”

“We did that in case something was wrong,” said Aquaman. “We’re veterans of dozens of cosmic crisis situations!” He stiffened suddenly as Future Man mentally paralyzed his muscles.

“A pleasant diversion!” mused the evolved Barry Metzger.

Brains laughed girlishly. “Oh, our fun has just begun. Once I master their headquarters, we can play many mind-games to your liking with the Superman, Batman, and the rest. And best of all, who can possibly stop us?” She laughed.

Captain Comet then burst into the manor. “Well, hate to sound vain, but I think I can!” said Adam Blake.

“Why, he masked his presence even from my brain via his own considerable mental prowess!” mused Future Man.

Brains stomped one high-heeled foot and screamed, “Get him!”

The heroes and villains from the tangent realm obeyed their mistress as one. Captain Comet stood ready and calm as he became the center of a blazing attack. As Hex and Black Orchid invoked their pseudo-scientific magic, they faded from view. The same thing occurred as Atom, Flash, Wildcat, and all the rest went into motion.

Captain Comet smiled and explained, “Once your evolved mind registered on my own, I had my mystic ally — Nadir, master of magic — check out the situation. I’d been warned by the Superman of their world about what had likely occurred. He can determine the likely solution to any problem! It was his gifted mind that first made contact with this realm. We arranged with his alien ally Wonder Woman, who can alter reality at will, to return all their fellow residents of that realm per my signal, which I just gave! We waited until all of them were in one place — namely here.”

Brains cursed again. “So they’re gone and free?” She squealed as a dapper-looking man wearing a turban and a black suit caressed her cheek.

The suave prince of India nodded. “I fear so. You may call me Nadir. My control of all I touch just sent your very charming self into system error!” She stiffened and remained inert.

Captain Comet concentrated, and slowly Future Man devolved back into Barry Metzger. “Without Brains to control you hypnotically, it was easy to help your mind return you to normal,” explained Comet as Metzger thanked him eagerly. The freed Justice Leaguers congratulated him as well.

Hawkman shook hands with Blake and said, “Comet, you have a place with us anytime you want!”

Adam Blake grinned and said, “Thanks, but I like being with my Forgotten Heroes.”

“I know a heroine I’d like to forget,” said Hawkwoman.

They laughed as they enjoyed their victory.

The End

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