Caption: The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry-Robert Burns
Joseph Kane is sitting in his office, working on his laptop.
Joseph: Hmmm, move this chemical here, and this device there...well, that took me a half hour. And the actual team in charge of the project still hasn't figured it out. Well that was a nice little challenge of "figure out LexCorp's big project for fun". Now for something else.
He brings up a list. The reader will immediately see its a list matching superheroes to their secret identities. Joseph adds another level of encryption.
Joseph: Now...time to figure out some of the people who work with Shazam. I assume it has to be Baston's "sib--"
Bruce walks in
Bruce: Is it done yet?
Joseph: Define "it".
Bruce: Looking through Lex's naughty list
Joseph: Yeah, that's done.
Bruce: So what's the holdup?
Joseph: Holdup? Didn't I tell you I was done figuring out Luthor's next big thing? Oh and I figured out how to make it cheaply and fuel efficient, unlike his design which is a deliberate money drain
Bruce: Then why is it I had to come down here for you to tell me? Up to something else?
Joseph: Maybe, maybe not. I didn't ask for you to come down here.
Bruce: *small smile* Okay then
Bruce: Finish up what you've got to do and I'll meet up with you at the manor later.
Joseph: Yes sir. *beat* You also came down to check on the list?
Bruce: *serious* You are keeping that under strictest confidence and protection?
Joseph: Of course I am!
Bruce: If that list got out....
Joseph: With all the security protections I have set up; no one can grab it easily.
Bruce: All the same I want it kept completely inaccessible by any hacker...its presence can't be on a computer than can be hacked
Joseph: Hence any work on it is remote access; that and the master list kept elsewhere....
Joseph: I know this list's importance, and the risk. I have it under more security than Fort Knox; only person who can access it is me.
Bruce: And the master list?
Joseph: Secure off site.
Bruce: On paper?
Joseph: On flash drive; a specially made one that's constantly updated. It's in a special box with special encryption.
Joseph: Don't worry, Bruce....
The view pans down to under Joseph's unused desktop tower, where several small blinking lights are seen.
Joseph: It's safe and secure
Caption: Unfortunately for the good doctor, this communication was not. Taking advantage of the fact he never uses his office desktop, dark forces have placed "bugs" on it. In four panels, connected to the lights of the bugs, we see Amanda Waller, Lex Luthor, Hush, and Deathstroke
Amanda Waller: So, Doctor, you have been busy. Who knows how many "recruits" I can get with that list.....
Lex Luthor: A list of almost every hero; I could use that my advantage. *activates comm* Mercy; prepare travel arrangements for Gotham
Hush: So, Bruce, shall we begin the game anew?
Deathstroke: Hmmm...that could be sold for a nice amount of money. Peabody, we're leaving for Gotham in twenty minutes!
Joseph finishes up in his office and heads out, turning off the lights; unaware of unfolding events. The next day, Dick Grayson is walking down a busy street in Midtown
Dick: *narrating* You'd think it would be easy for the adopted son of Bruce Wayne to get a job. Nope! With no college degree and no real long term employment, my chances are shot. I'm not going to beg Bruce for a job, and I don't want to ask Joseph either...
As he walks he turns his head and his eyes go wide. Slade Wilson is sitting in a cafe, sipping coffee, as the crowd walks by.
Dick: *narrating* What is he doing here?!
Dick heads over to the cafe.
Slade: Ah, Grayson. I was wondering if I was going to bump into you. Care to sit?
Dick: Why so formal, not on working hours yet?
Slade: I will be in a short while; even I deserve a decent cup of coffee on occasion.
Dick: So you're here to kill someone?
Slade: Not this time, at least, not if I can help it. Your little friend, the doctor, he has something I want.
Dick: Joseph...what business is he to you?
Slade: Wouldn't you like to know? Let's just say he has something I want....
Dick: I fail to see what he could have which would interest you
Slade: Why not ask the boy, I'm sure it would give you something to talk about
Dick: Now I know you're full of it.
Slade: Everyone has their secrets, Grayson. You of all people should know that.
Dick: What do you--
Slade: Well, I must be going.
Dick: If you cross us, don't expect any mercy
Slade: That's normally my line...could it be that you've gotten meaner Grayson...heheh
And with that, Slade leaves.
Dick: *narrating* They need to know, now.
He races to Wayne Tower. Joseph and Bruce are in a meeting in Joseph's office when Dick barges in. A secretary follows.
Secretary: I told him you were busy. Mr. Wayne; but he wouldn't listen
Bruce: No that's alright, If Mr. Grayson has something important to say I want to hear it
Dick: Can I talk to you two in private?
Bruce nodded, and the secretary left.
Dick: I just had a run in with Slade
Bruce's eyes narrow
Joseph: Dick could have just said it....
Dick: What's more he's gunning for Joseph, says he has something he wants
oseph and Bruce look at each other.
Dick: What do you two know?
Bruce: ...I think you've been bugged, Joseph
Joseph: Impossible, I do sweeps every....
Dick: Not under your desktop tower
Bruce: I've noticed that too.
Joseph: My custom laptop is ten times more powerful than that desktop; besides, the layers of dust show me its not been disturbed.
Dick: Unless the people bugging it took note of that and put it somewhere it wouldn't be noticed
Joseph: I didn't think of that
Both look at him very seriously as he sheepishly checks his office computer
Joseph: Oh dear....
Dick: Found a bug?
Dick: So Slade makes one...who the hell are the other three, and what the hell could they be after?
Joseph: In all cases, I don't know.
Dick gives him a hard look
Bruce: Dick suit up and get ready...this is gonna be a long day
Joseph: And what should I do?
Bruce: Stay put.
Before he can say more, Bruce and Dick head to Bruce's office, and a secret spare Cave. Joseph sits at his desk, activates a program on his laptop and begins downloading the list to two locations. One, the Batcomputer, the second the remote storage unit he has hidden away. Then he notices the arrow pointed at his neck.
Joseph: Hello, Ollie.
Green Arrow: Someone's been a bad boy
Joseph: Says the man pointing an arrow at an innocent neck
Green Arrow: Innocent is a strong word for a spy
Joseph: That is slander.
Green Arrow: So you haven't compiled a list of heroes and their civilian identities?
Joseph: Are you high?
Green Arrow kept pointing the arrow at Joseph's neck.
Joseph: And if I had such a list, what would I do with it.
His hand slyly reaches for a hidden drawer
Green Arrow: That's the million dollar question, one of which my chief seems to have a unpleasant response
Joseph: "Chief"? Don't tell me Waller sent you! Is she still sore that I refused her offer to betray my friends?
Green Arrow: More concerned about how and what you've got planned with the flash drive
Joseph: Keep it away from those would use that for evil, of course. Like your boss.
Green Arrow narrows his eyes and prepares to counter any attack. Joseph at that moment points a gun at Green Arrow's face
Joseph: Get the hell out of my office.
Green Arrow: Do you even know how to fire one of those?
Joseph: Let's find out.
Joseph fires the gun, ripping Green Arrow's quiver from his back. But Green Arrow uses a blade to knock away the gun. Joseph scrambles toward the gun while GA fires arrows at him. Joseph grabs the gun, slides between Green Arrow's legs and shoots him in the ass!
Joseph: That's for shooting me in the ass with one of your barbed arrows a few months back.
Green Arrow: ARRGH!
Joseph: Oh be quiet. I don't shoot to kill!
Then both freeze, they here loud thumps. A few seconds later, Batman and Nightwing fly into the office and into Joseph's desk. Hawkman walks in.
Nightwing: Okay, Slade I understand but this is ridiculous
Joseph: Oh great; let me guess, the JLA is attacking?
Batman: I got reinforcements coming...
Hawkman: Please, don't be--
A strong hand holds Hawkman's arm back
Superman: Sorry for the delay.
Hawkman: Think we came alone, Superman?
Katana, Vibe, Catwoman, and Martian Manhunter enter
Joseph: No Stargirl and no Steve Trevor...Is Waller keeping her PR teenage hero and the good colonel in the dark?
Catwoman's whip lashes out at the laptop
Joseph: Oh no you don't....
Joseph grabs the laptop out of the way. Catwoman pounces on him and they struggle for the laptop.
Batman: Superman...cover your ears
Superman does so
Hawkman: What do you think you're....
Batman: *narrating* Waller has obviously stretched the truth, but they can apologize later.
Phase one of escape, use Sonic disruptor implemented in left gauntlet...incapacitating foes.
Phase two, utilize smoke screen...Superman takes Joseph and Dick
Phase three, flash bangs to momentarily blind them
in short, ears ringing, lungs irritated, flashing lights and we are long gone
Batman activates his gauntlet sonic disruptor, all the JLA members hold their heads in pain...then the smoke pellets are discharged and Superman gets Joseph and Nightwing away and finally the flash charges are thrown as Batman grapples out the window and is picked up by Superman. When the JLA come to Batman and Co are long gone
Green Arrow: Damn it! And they took the laptop!
Hawkman: Where is our Green Lantern? He could have been helpful!
Martian Manhunter: On a mission for the Green Lantern Corps.
Vibe: Ummm, guys; shouldn't we look for them, or that flashdrive.
Catwoman: Have to agree with the noobie
Katana: He's a seasoned warrior now, thief.
Catwoman: Point is that we need to find them *looks at Arrow* and maybe take Arrow to a medic.
Green Arrow: It's nothing.
Vibe: Are you embarrassed that you got shot in the ass?
Green Arrow: No.
Martian Manhunter: Yes you are.
Several members snicker. Meanwhile Superman has taken the group to a warehouse near the docks. Joseph looks the worse for wear for the flight and vomits a bit.
Joseph: I think I'm going to be sick
Superman: So what is this list about Joseph?
Joseph: How did---
Superman: Super hearing
Joseph: ...It's a long story.....
Nightwing: Then tell me quickly because it seems you have compiled a list of all superheroes and their civilian identities and Waller has told her flunkies it's for blackmail...while I believe that's her motive what was yours?
Joseph: It goes back to when I was training abroad. I got bored
Joseph: Well I needed something to do when I wasn't training or devising gizmos!
Nightwing: Do you not understand the gravity of this situation?! You have essentially given yourself with the holy grail of information that every devious bastard out there would KILL for...because you were bored?!
Joseph Lets that soak in and hangs his head
Superman: Calm down.... *to Joseph* Now I'm sure you had your reasons...
Batman: He did.
Batman: I found about his list a few months back; at that time he had not worked on it in months. I had a similar reaction.
Joseph: But then we realized something; if we continued the list, it could work as a way to protect heroes and their families should they be attacked as civilians.
Nightwing: ...Regulation and protection?
Joseph: Protection, really. Only heroes went on the list.
Superman: And you have the only copy on your laptop.
Joseph: Well, technically it's on the Batcomputer but...Oh no. The flash drive in my safe deposit box. If the JLA knows....
Batman: And then there is Slade, and any other crook who bugged you
Joseph: Wouldn't surprise me...
Nightwing: Who's the fourth one then?
Batman: I don't know. But we might need backup to get that flashdrive. *to Joseph* And after that we need to get you to a safehouse.
Joseph: What about Sam? And Barkley? I don't want them to be pawns used by a lunatic!
Superman: We should move the Kanes to the watchtower
Batman: Do you think it would be wise?
Superman: What do you suggest?
Batman: I have a few safehouses. Maybe the one in Newark
Joseph: If I'm going to hide, it's not going to be in Jersey!
All give him a withering look
Joseph: I have SOME standards! If I'm going to hide like a rat, I'd rather be not in that hellhole.
Nightwing: God, you're such a New Yorker.
Batman: For now, we should concentrate on getting that flashdrive and then move the Kanes to someplace safe.
Nightwing: Where is the safe deposit box?
Joseph: First Bank of Gotham, on the corner of Finger and 5th.
Nightwing: Me and Batman will get it and Superman will protect you.
Superman: If you guys need any backup....
Batman: We'll call in other League members.
Joseph: And get Sam and Barkley here for extraction! *beat* Please?
Superman: Once I know you're temporarily in the clear, I'll get them and any luggage....
Batman: I'll notify Alfred on the way. Make sure Joseph keeps his nose clean.
The original Dynamic Duo head off. Joseph sits on a crate and puts his head in his hands.
Superman: It's not your fault you know
Joseph: If the list falls into the wrong hands, if people start dying...*looks it up* it will be.
Cut to: Batman and Nightwing arriving at the bank, people are fleeing from it.
Joseph: (caption) Let's hope Batman and Nightwing get to the flashdrive first
Batman: Let's keep this simple, stealth approach
They grapple up to the roof and enter through a vent. They hide in the rafters as they approach the vault. By the vault, trying to crack the door, stand members of the Suicide Squad: Harley Quinn, Deadshot, King Shark, El Diablo, and Captain Boomerang.
Captain Boomerang: For once, I have to agree with the crazy Sheila. What is taking so long!?
Deadshot turns, he's been working on melting the hinges with El Diablo
Deadshot: You try taking down a vault door without killing ourselves!
King Shark: Hurry! I'm hungry.
El Diablo: You're always hungry!
Harley: Well I want to get out of here before the Bat shows up.
Batman: ...Delta wave formation
They move into position. Batman throws a batarang, knocking out the lights.
Deadshot: Oh for the love of--
El Diablo: *holding up his hand for light* Guess they're here.
Batman: *narrating* This is not a fight...this is an ambush, intention: incapacitate
Batman and Nightwing put on rebreathers and drop gas pellets. Deadshot scans the room while coughing and sees them
Deadshot: Get them!
Batman: Phase one, Allow Deadshot to shoot, dodging the bullet is easy but then using the sonic disrupter the sound of the casing leaving the barrel is amplified to hazardous levels, Cowl muffles sound and Nightwing is wearing the necessary ear-piece
He does so, Deadshot drops to his knees. Captain Boomerang throws his boomerang at the two heroes, who separate. Batman lands in front of Harley and Nightwing in front of King Shark.
Nightwing: Maybe we should call for backup?
Several thuds are heard, and Deathstroke enters.
Deathstroke: Well, looks like I'm not the lone interested party.
As he enters the vault room, we can see the dead bodies of several security guards
Harley: We were told to enter quietly and run people out! And he kills them?! *turns to Batman* Well, at least kicking your ass will make me feel better.
Batman: Shouldn't you be concentrating your forces on Deathstroke?
Nightwing: Yeah you know we won't kill you but he will, and take what you came for
King Shark: RAWR!
Deadshot: Hold it there, big guy....
Deathstroke: Out of my way, Lawton.
Deadshot: Make us, Wilson.
Deathstroke: ...You're not seriously going to try and fight me are you...you honestly believe you have a chance?
Deadshot: We got a job to do!
Deathstroke: Well so do I.
Batman and Nightwing step back
Deadshot: Suicide Squad, get him!
Nightwing: ...You're a scary genius
Batman: Thank you
They enter the vault. Nightwing and Batman scan the rows of deposit boxes. Batman finds it.
He takes out the box and opens it with a lockpick. Inside is a customized flashdrive. Batman puts it into its utility belt.
Harley: *off panel* Hey guys!
The Suicide Squad and Deathstroke face the two heroes.
Harley: They got the drive!
Batman: Of course it's too late now
Nightwing: You've wasted too much time
Batman: We suggest you surrender
Captain Boomerang: Wow, you are nuts! We got you outnumbered, 6 to 2.
Batman: Do you honestly think I wouldn't face you...without the option of back-up
Deathstroke: ...Oh hell
King Shark is suddenly seized from behind and slammed into the wall. In the doorway stands Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern and Aquaman
Wonder Woman: Sorry for the delay.
Batman: Guess you got my signal.
Nightwing: When did you send it?
Batman: When we dropped the gas pellets.
Nightwing: Glad I'm on your side
Deathstroke: *turns to the Suicide Squad* I'd hate to be in your shoes. *to Batman* Another time perhaps.
Boomerang: Mate, where do you think you're....
Deathstroke drops a smoke grenade and escapes using his abilities in the chaos. The heroes and the Suicide Squad face off. Nightwing engaged Harley, Aquaman took on Man-Shark, Boomerang faced the Flash, Deadshot-Wonder Woman, Green Lantern El-Diablo. Batman ran around the room, causing chaos with smoke grenades and flash pellets.
Flash: Catch me if you can, Boomy.
Boomerang: *throwing boomerangs* Freaking Flash!
Aquaman: Yield! *thrusts at Man-Shark with his Trident*
King Shark: I AM TRUE KING!
Nightwing: Stay down, Harley, and I'll put you in the first class suite at Arkham
Harley: Get your foot out of my face, Bird Boy!
Green Lantern: Watch the fire, Diablo.
El Diablo: If I must delay my redemption by killing you, so be it!
Wonder Woman: You can't win, Layton.
Deadshot: Excuse me if I want to!
Batman: Ladies and gentlemen, we are very busy so let's get this done quickly
Wonder Woman: Right.
Flash: *punching Boomerang in the face* Done
GL: *wrapping up El D* Same.
Batman batglares at Deadshot over Wonder Woman's shoulder.
Deadshot: ...Yeah were not gonna win this are we?
Behind Batman, Nightwing has tied up Harley, Aquaman has knocked out King Shark with his spear.
Wonder Woman knocks out Deadshot.
Batman: Slade escaped didn't he?
Wonder Woman: As soon as we got here.
Flash: Can't believe he got past me.
Batman activates a device.
Batman: That should negate the bombs implanted in them; they'll be returned to Belle Reve in a couple days with major headaches. And Waller will be concerned about a possible leak.
Aquaman: Well you got what we came for.
Batman: Now all we need to do is protect Joseph
Green Lantern: Your computer geek?
Flash: Oh if you two butt heads again *facepalming*
Wonder Woman: What about the little one, and the dog?
Batman: Superman is tending to that but we must hurry, I fear Luthor will join the fray
*suddenly all the lights go out*
Voice: I wouldn't about Luthor
Out of the shadows steps Hush
Hush: You've got bigger problems to worry about
End of part one