As always, find more MAYHEM here.
Atlee flopped down onto the couch of 'her' apartment, looking down at her feet. Everything had seemed to go so fast... too fast. Their entire mission had ended almost before it had started. The only thing they had succeeded in doing was giving Killer Frost exactly what she wanted – now Charlie had been dragged away by some strange girl, and Atlee was alone. Again.
“Hey kiddo, what's with the pout?” Came a sudden voice. A familiar voice. Atlee lifted her eyes and found herself staring dead-on into a pair of breasts no one could forget.
“...P-Peej...?” Atlee stammered, slowly craning her neck back and lifting her eyes farther upward. Sure enough, about a foot above the breasts was a familiar smirk, familiar blue eyes, and a familiar, golden frame of hair.
“I told you I'd come back, didn't I? Didn't take long.” There was trouble behind the kryptonian's eyes, trouble that Atlee didn't overlook. But that concern was shrouded in so much comfort and hope that the stratan soon forgot, tossing herself forward and inadvertently burying her face into Kara's chest.
“ImissedyousomuchIthoughtyouwouldnevercomebackeverything'sturnedintoabigpileofsuckreallyquickly!” Atlee squealed, squeezing her arms like vices around Kara's (or, to the rest of the world, Karen Starr's) waist. “Please don't leave like that again, I'm a terrible hero on my own! I can't save anyone!”
A beat passed, and Kara's brow furrowed as she attempted to digest what Atlee's motor-mouth was spitting out at her. She carefully took the stratan by the shoulders and held her out at arm's length, a brow cocked. “Atlee, it hasn't even been a week, what in the world are you talking about? Start from the beginning.”
The stratan fidgeted like a cornered rat. “Well, I was hungry and I went to get pizza, and then, um, I went to this arcade, and there was this girl there, and something about debit cards, and then I won and we had a slumber party, but she found out I was a superhero but it was okay because it turned out she was a superhero too! Her name is Charlie, you'll like her!” Atlee spat out each word like every second in spent in her mouth caused her physical damage. “Andandand... oh, but she had this thing that she got, but I didn't know what it was, and it turned out it belonged to Killer Frost, so we went looking for her but she wasn't in any refrigerators but then allllll the penguiiiiins and then there was this shark guy and he beat both of us and took us to Frost's evil lair--” The teen sucked in a deep, shuddering breath, “--And then there was this ice room and I think Frost might have molested us but then I told her where the thingy was and she went and got it and came back and was about to kill us, but then this girl showed up and scared Frost so bad she ran away but then she took Charlie into a portal and now they're both goooooone!” Another deep breath, and Atlee seemed to relax. “How was Mars?”
“Sucked, actually,” Kara intoned, her eyes wide. “Wait, you got molested?”
“I'm not sure.”
Kara stared blankly at the girl for a long moment, both women holding eerily still.
“So you don't know where your friend is?” Kara asked quietly.
“I have no idea.”
Both heads turned in sync to face the newest voice, belonging to that of a red-haired girl wearing a pleated skirt and a Flash shirt. She held up one hand in a friendly wave.
“Charlie!” Atlee gasped, flinging herself from Kara's arms towards her friend, embracing her tightly and causing a light 'unf' to forcefully escape the other girl.
“'Sup,” Charlie – or Misfit – said with a cheeky smirk, squeezing the other teen back. “How'd things go after I-- Atlee, is that Power Girl...?”
“Maybe,” Kara said with a grin.
Charlie's eyes darted from Atlee to Kara, finally staring at her friend incredulously. “Power Girl is here?”
“Yeah, I told you this is her apartment.”
“Well... but... does she... and Mars... and, boobs, I... Power Girl is here?!”
“Do you want to huuug her?” Atlee chirped, an unusually mischievous tone in her voice.
“No... no, I couldn't, I....”
Atlee turned to Power Girl, who was scratching the back of her neck awkwardly in the middle of the living room. “Peegeeeee, I think Charlie needs a hug. A special hug.”
“No, no-- Atlee, I-- don't make me--!” Misfit whimpered, slowly backing away and turning back for the door. By the time she had made a full 180 turn, she found her head entirely engulfed in soft flesh as the kryptonian woman's arms wrapped around her in the most glorious hug she had ever experienced. Her eyes rolled back, and a thin tendril of drool began to run down her lip.
“So she didn't kill you or maim you or replace you with a robot or anything?” Atlee inquired from her new position on the couch, munching from a massive metal bowl of popcorn. After a good five minutes to recover from the hug, and retrieving what little red hairs had gotten caught in Power Girl's 'window', storytime had started, and Charlie gave up the goodies on what had happened between her and Black Alice.
“Nope, nothing like that. Some crazy crap about me trying to steal her dad. I'd be surprised if we've seen the last of her but we'd better really hope that we don't. You remember how, before Superman became an icon and high-powered superheroes were still kind of obscure, nuclear bombs were considered like, unbelievably dangerous?”
Atlee nodded. Sprawled out on the rest of the couch, with her feet tucked behind the stratan's back, Kara offered a nod of her own.
“Well, Black Alice is like the new nuclear bomb, within the age of superheroes. As far as I know, she can't really be beaten.”
“Yeesh,” Kara grunted. It was odd – as much as she somewhat acted like 'one of the girls', she was different. She was experienced, she was wise. She was Power Girl. Despite her being as cool as it gets, it still almost felt like she was a chaperone – particularly for Charlie, who saw her as a symbol, a trademark. A legend.
“But if she isn't coming back right now, then we have bigger steaks to grill, right?” Atlee piped up.
Kara patted a hand onto the girl's shoulder. “Bigger fish to fry, Atz.”
“Right, bigger fish to fry. But really, what about Killer Frost? She's still out there, right?”
“Well... not exactly. When I heard about a city block getting encased in ice an hour ago, I had Frost become the first... ah, training mission, for the new JSA roster. I do believe she's safely in Belle Reve.” Kara coughed awkwardly. If she had known that Killer Frost was acting as 'nemesis' to Terra and her new partner, she may have handled things a... bit more delicately.
The pair of quivering bottom lips, however, and quartet of moist teenage eyes, quickly allowed her to catch on. “I mean, uh, I'm sure you guys--”
“We suuuck!” Atlee bawled.
“Epic superhero fail!” Charlie wailed in unison.
“No, no, no--” Kara shook her head, sitting up from her prone pose and leaning forward, wrapping an arm around each of the World's Finest. “You didn't fail. You guys did an amazing job, from everything I've heard. You showed unbelievable guts, both of you. Can you think of any of two teen heroes who would go up against some like Killer Frost, and King Shark?”
“N-no....” Atlee sniffled.
“I guess not....” Charlie pouted.
“You two may not have thrown asteroids at her, you may not have thrown her in jail. But you know what you did do?” Power Girl squeezed them both gently, before turning to the redhead. “Charlie, if you hadn't caught those thugs and taken that Heart-thing, who knows how much damage would have been done before Frost was stopped. And even though you could have teleported away and saved yourself at any time, you were going to stay the course because you weren't going to leave your friend behind. That takes the kind of courage and loyalty I don't even know if we have on the JSA.”
Charlie sniffed hard, her arms pressed together between her knees. “Yeah...?”
“And Atlee. You were going to risk everything, give Frost what she was looking for, just to save your friend from the ice-chamber. You sacrificed your only bargaining piece to do the right thing, and you gave your absolute all.”
“I... I did?” Atlee looked up, offering a tiny, hopeful smile.
“Maybe you didn't save the world all at once – you still have a lot of practice and training to go through. But today the two of you acted like true heroes, and I'm proud as hell of the both of you. You are the World's Finest.”
Both girls beamed and leaned into the veteran, Earth-2 hero, squeezing her tightly.
“But for now...” Kara continued, after a long breath. “Pizza party!”
Belle Reve stank of failure and disease. Every sadistic, superpowered wretch too cold to be deemed 'insane' was locked up here, rattling the bars of their specially-designed cages. The place was corrupt and sickening, with a revolving door that kept criminals coming in and going out, usually in body bags. “Task Force X”, she'd heard whispers of. A “Suicide Squad” where the warden yanked the chains and sent criminals dancing on strings any way she wanted them too.
Crystal blew out a glimmering plume of sub-zero air, tracing patterns in it with her fingers. This had gone well. Let the world forget that Killer Frost was at the height of her power, bide her time... plot in the darkness of her cell. They'd never see it coming when her true plans finally came to fruition.
Another icy breath on the wall of her cell, fogging up the cool chrome and encasing it with an icy sheen. Crystal reached out one pale, slender finger, carefully drawing a simple pattern on the brushed metasteel.
That's all folks! <3 After this, Terra and Misfit are going on an indefinite hiatus, though they you may see some cameos in the pages of DC Mayhem: Justice Society of America!