Welcome to the 2022 April A to Z Challenge! Each day (minus Sundays) in the month of April will feature a short work of fiction based on a random word beginning with the corresponding letter of the day. Those random words will be provided by various friends and family members throughout the month. Today’s word, water, was provided by my friend, Keith. Each story is loosely connected to the one before but will make more sense if you read them all in order. To go back to the beginning to see where this madness began, click here

Arthur Curry emerged from the flowing water of the Potomac River with his wife, Mera, by his side. Together they walked toward the Justice League’s headquarters, also known as the Hall of Justice. The world knew Arthur as the hero called Aquaman. And as a member of the Justice League, it was time to step up and do what needed to be done.

The communication that Arthur had received from Batman asked him to join the rest of the League on the surface. Apparently Darkseid was on the move.

Last time the League faced Darkseid, the so-called New God was unprepared for a team of the world’s most powerful heroes to stand in his way in his attempt to conquer the Earth. No doubt Darkseid would have learned from his mistakes. If he was trying to take on Earth again, he would bring more than just himself and a handful of Parademons.

But if Earth was aware of Darkseid’s aggressive movement, then Aquaman was confident that they, too, would be well prepared to put up a good fight.

Entering the Hall’s conference room, Arthur could see by the gathered crowd that every available reserve member had been called in. Approaching the table, Arthur gave his seat to Mera and stood directly behind her, ready to hear the latest report. He assumed a plan of action would be presented by Clark, Bruce, or Diana. He was surprised to see the Green Lantern Hal Jordan step up to the podium.

“It’s good to see that so many of you were able to make it,” Hal began, “I only wish it could be under better circumstances.”

Silence fell over the crowd of heroes, each of them knowing how dire the situation must be.

“Kyle and I have just returned from deep space where we met with one of the Guardians of the Universe, Ganthet. The Council of Guardians has refused to provide the Earth with additional aid, but Ganthet was unable to remain silent. He warned us of an impending invasion being planned by Darkseid.”

This brought a hushed murmur from many in the audience.

Hal continued, “Some of us have actually met this bastard face-to-face. Most of us have only heard horror stories of the threat that this guy poses. Whatever the case, one thing is clear: we must be prepared and we must stand united.” Hal looked over at Diana, “I guess that’s two things. Wonder Woman, if you will?”

Arthur watched as Diana stepped up to the podium. As the daughter of the Amazon queen, Diana was perfectly suited to develop an appropriate strategy for facing Darkseid’s forces. She was a natural leader and would never back down, even if it cost her own life.

“Thanks, Hal. My friends, the battle that’s to come will not be an easy one. I’m certain that we are all aware of that. Yes, Darkseid has brought an army to our doorstep once before and we were able to bring a swift end to his invasion. Darkseid is brilliant and will have learned from his mistakes in his previous attempt, which will make him much more prepared and all the more dangerous than before. One thing he is not expecting is for us to be prepared as well.”

Using a remote, Diana activated a holographic display that hovered over the round conference table. The hologram showed an image of Earth, which zoomed in to North America. Three cities were highlighted: Metropolis, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco.

“Each of these cities was the target of T.O. Morrow just last week. Thanks to a great deal of detective work displayed by Batman and his team, we are confident that these attacks were meant to distract us while something or someone else was in play. Since then, we have also grown suspicious of a few unlikely relationships that have formed between the Joker, Toyman, Lex Luthor, and G. Gordon Godfrey,” Wonder Woman continued. “We have long suspected that Godfrey, whom you all know from his controversial cable news program, is in reality a spy from Apokolips. However, we have lacked the proof.”

“What makes you think that status is confirmed?” asked the young Blue Beetle before seeming to whisper to himself, “Stop interrupting!”

Diana made a point to look at Cyborg, who was sitting just to her left. Victor was surprised that he was being asked to speak, but he stood to address the crowd. “On the day of Morrow’s attacks, my mainframe was a bit… off. I wasn’t sure what it could be, but chalked it up to electromagnetic interference from Red Inferno’s attack here in D.C. It wasn’t until a few days ago that I thought to run a full diagnostic. Turns out the interference was from the use of Apokoliptan technology. Specifically, someone had been using a Mother Box to open a Boom Tube here, in Metropolis, and in San Francisco. Accessing traffic cams and closed circuit television cameras, I discovered that only one man was in all three of those cities during the times of those attacks.”

“Godfrey,” said Aquaman. Cyborg nodded, returning to his seat and giving the floor back to Wonder Woman.

“Godfrey was last seen getting into a limo with Lex Luthor, meaning he may be a… guest… of LexCorp at the moment,” said Diana. “Superman has already agreed to pay Mr. Luthor a friendly visit, though I don’t think any of us expect Luthor to reveal much, if anything. In the meantime, we all need to prepare for the worst. It’s obvious that these three cities are Darkseid’s targets. We may not be aware of which city he will personally attack, but we can begin setting up our defenses in all three.

“The Teen Titans have already begun taking the lead on the West Coast. Aquaman?” Diana looked to Arthur.

“Aqualad is already gathering forces off the Pacific coast and will be prepared to enter the fray should an attack begin there. I have done the same along the Atlantic seaboard. The surface world has the full support of Atlantis.”

“Thank you, Arthur,” said Wonder Woman. “Then we all have our assignments. Between the members of the Justice League and the Justice Society, both Metropolis and Washington, D.C. will be well guarded. If anyone sees anything suspicious, do not hesitate to communicate it to the League. Good luck.”

These characters are not my own. The Justice League and all related characters are the property of DC Comics. This is a work of fan fiction and is just for fun. Please don’t sue me.

Feature Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

One thought on “Water

  1. Pingback: A to Z Challenge 2022 – Reflection | The Confusing Middle

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