Darknight frowned beneath his ebony cowl. He knew the computer didn’t lie. Data was data. He checked his facts once more and then summoned his team into the Oval Office.
“Hey, Darknight, what’s the deal? Iwasjusthavingfunwithsomefineladies,” spouted the hyper Speedfreak.
Darknight held up one black-gloved hand, and Speedfreak stopped talking immediately.
“We have a problem,” whispered the cold-hearted man. “This world is not entirely free of super-powered beings after all. The Crime Syndicate I spoke of yesterday have broken free of their prison. They could be upon us any moment.”
Green Gladiatrix pouted. “But, D.N., you said we were the only ones with special powers.”
“He was wrong,” said Atalanta. “He’s only human… not that you can tell from out here.”
“I realized the Crime Syndicate existed, but I never thought they would break free,” said Darknight.
“We can handle them easily,” broke in Hypernion. “I suspect Luthor freed them. I’ve had no luck tracking his armor’s transportational signal, either. I made it to his lab, but it was deserted. I did find family pictures, though — a wife, a kid, and a blonde beauty. We may have to hunt them down and teach the only hero this world has ever known the error of his ways.”
“That’s our job,” hissed Owlman as he stepped out of the office’s shadows.
The others, including the mysterious Darknight, were startled.
“Owlman,” said Hypernion. “I suppose you’ve come here from some dark lair to ask us to let you join the League?”
The agile, middle-aged man spoke in a low hiss, his hypnotic eyes boring at the powerful superhuman. “Not so fast, my alien friend. I have come here to offer your team a chance to join the Crime Syndicate. We were here first, and we have the experience and power to run this world. Squatter’s rights, you know.” His hand dropped down to his belt as he spoke.
Darknight edged slowly around the corner of the desk. “Your team may only exist as our servants or as our victims,” said the black-caped man. “Get him!”
Owlman’s smoke pellet billowed out around him as he rolled backward and dodged the pouncing Darknight.
Speedfreak caught him by his cape and had started to pummel him, when Ultraman’s fist closed around the youth’s red-and-gold-gloved hands. “Keep your hands to yourself!” he commanded as he crushed down on the speedster. Gladiatrix fired a huge fist into him, and he fell beneath her blows.
Then Superwoman tackled her Amazon Princess counterpart, and the fight exploded through the building. “I’ll teach you to pose as an Amazon Princess!” said Superwoman as she slapped Atalanta through the desk. “I’m the only Amazon Princess on this world!”
Superwoman wrapped her golden lariat around Atalanta’s throat and began to choke the other Amazonian beauty. Atalanta coiled her legs up close to her chest, then extended them with a sudden force that slammed into Superwoman’s stomach and sent her rolling across the carpet.
“It will take more than the likes of you to best the daughter of Hippolyta!” she said, rubbing her throat.
Superwoman grimaced. “Again I say that I alone have the right to a title you boast so freely.”
Ultraman smirked as he held the fleet Speedfreak in his mighty grip. In spite of the blond man’s best efforts to vibrate free of the Kryptonian’s arms, the pressure slowly bore down upon him.
“I need some help here!” he gasped.
Hypernion drove a fist into Power Ring’s sharp chin and shoved by him to tackle Ultraman from behind. He wrapped one arm around his foe’s throat and pulled with his own considerable power. “What’s wrong?” said Hypernion. “Aren’t you used to facing someone capable of matching you, you bullying thug?”
Ultraman shoved Speedfreak into the darting Gladiatrix and elbowed Hypernion in the face. He whirled to drive a second and then a third punch into the other Kryptonian before saying, “I may be a bullying thug, but I’m a bullying thug who’s beating you senseless!”
Johnny Quick raced around the dazed Speedfreak and delivered a rapid series of jabs to his chin. “You punk! It takes more than a fancy name to run my race!” he said defiantly.
Power Ring had been wrestling with Gladiatrix until her concentration was broken by the impact with Speedfreak. She hesitated and quickly found herself bound from neck to heel by a crushing green cocoon. “Doll, you make a right pretty package all wrapped up like that. Maybe later I can unwrap you,” he laughed.
“I am a master of every known form of martial arts,” declared Darknight, tossing three sharp projectiles at Owlman’s head but cursing as his foe ducked beneath them and lashed out with a stunning side-kick. “I trained myself from childhood to become the very best the world has ever seen.”
Owlman sliced his ribs with a taloned glove and said as he stared at him with compelling eyes, “I have news for you. You haven’t seen the likes of me.”
The combat spilled out into the hallway as Ultraman tossed Hypernion through a solid oak door. “Glad I don’t have to pay for that,” he smirked. He followed his enemy in flight down the long corridor where powerful men had often made history, but none had ever been quite as powerful as these two Kryptonians.
Back in the Oval Office, Atalanta deflected a tossed chair and smiled at Superwoman. “I see I touch a raw nerve whenever I boast of my proud Amazon heritage,” she said with a purr to her voice. “Could you be less the daughter of Hippolyta than the black sheep of her litter?”
“Touch this!” roared Superwoman as she jumped across the entire room to land with both boots in the other woman’s face.
Ultraman flew back inside the Oval Office from the hallway and surveyed the battle.
Power Ring was sitting on top of the imprisoned Gladiatrix and kissing her passionately, while Johnny Quick smirked from the sides. Speedfreak lay stunned.
The two Amazons had almost ended their combat, since Atalanta’s efforts to rise to her feet were ended with a swift kick to the face by Superwoman’s high-heeled golden boot. She pulled Atalanta upward by her long black hair and said, “Now tell me who is a true daughter of Hippolyta.”
Ultraman saw Darknight cornered and badly cut as he fought to resist Owlman’s mental control with his last breath. Walking up to his allies, with astonishing speed and ruthless skill Ultraman slammed his fists into the heads of Power Ring and Johnny Quick, then froze Superwoman to the floor with frigid breath. He smiled as she gasped in outrage.
“Have you lost your senses?” she demanded.
Hypernion then dropped down from above and clipped her into unconsciousness while dragging in a battered Ultraman.
Owlman fought fiercely and screamed, “You’re not Ultraman!”
The blue-costumed form of the supposed Ultraman shimmered to change to a hulking green figure. “But I do come from another planet, if that counts — Mars!” said the figure known as the Martian Warlord.
Owlman quickly fell to his knees as Darknight pressed against his throat with precise skill and the Martian overcame his telepathic powers.
Hypernion smiled at his allies in the Lawless League. “I guess we forgot to tell them that, unlike their little social club, there are more than five of us.” The others laughed appreciatively.
“Do we kill them?” asked Speedfreak.
“No. I have a much more interesting idea,” said a grinning Atalanta as she kicked Superwoman’s stunned body.