As always, the rest of Terra/Misfit and DC Mayhem can be found here.
Atlee and Misfit didn’t exactly have the well-practiced technique of vigilantes like the Batman – not yet, anyway – but the two trussed-up figures, complete with sticky notes reading “supervillain henchmen, you should probably run prints or whatever”, got the idea across to the police. Chuckles and Gouch had their prints and backgrounds checked, and ended up in holding cells by the end of the day.
Now, however, things were serious. What had started off as a chance meeting and an evening of acting like kids with their parents out of town, had turned into a very critical situation. A possible clash with an immensely deadly villainess who was searching for something that Charlie just happened to have.
It was time for Atlee and Charlie to be Terra and Misfit. There was no Oracle to plan for them. No Power Girl to brawl against the bad guys. No Huntress to rush in at the last second. Nobody in the city that they knew of – just a girl who could teleport, and a girl who could fling rocks around.
“Do you think we’ll be able to do this, Atlee?” Charlie glanced over at the other girl from the rooftop they were both perched on, her slim goggles set down over her eyes, her dark cloak billowing behind her. She was afraid, of course she was. She knew what she was capable of – her greatest accomplishment was taking down Gizmo. That was something very, very different from defeating Killer Frost. The Killer Frost.
She focused her eyes back on Atlee, who offered a reassuring smile. At least she had help.
“I know we’ll be able to. This Frost lady may know that someone has her thingy, but… she doesn’t know who. You can teleport! I mean – that’s awesome! She won’t know what hit her, you can bounce both of us in—“
“Leeet me stop you right there.” Misfit said, hanging her head. “I can’t bounce anyone besides myself… or bad things happen.” Wasn’t that the truth. And that restriction had cost her everything. If she could teleport other people, she wouldn’t be where she was, wouldn’t be able to fight and possibly die against Killer Frost. She could be going to a normal school, with a normal life. She never would have met that wretch Black Alice. Would have never been such a disappointment to Oracle.
“…Oh.” Atlee grunted quietly. “But, you can! And I caaan… do something else.” She smiled softly, and Misfit smiled back.
“So, what’s our first move?”
“Well, first we have to find her… any ideas?”
Charlie scratched her chin slightly, pursing her lips and arching her brow. “Well, I mean, she’s Killer Frost. So she’d be somewhere cold, you’d think.”
Atlee nodded. “Like a… giant refrigerator.”
“Or the penguin exhibit at the zoo!”
Atlee’s eyes widened. “That’s an awesome idea! We should check out the zoo! I have always wanted to see the penguins anyway!”
“Well, she wasn’t at the zoo,” Misfit sighed, still in full costume. Atlee nibbled casually at the edge of her third cotton candy, the dissolve-y treat doing wonders to fill the void of having not found Killer Frost. She gave Charlie her best “equally-disappointed face”, despite the fact that the stick-mounted hive of sugar was making fireworks of joy erupt in her stomach.
“Nooo… but dear Strata, the penguins were so cute! We should get one!”
“Like… as a pet?” Charlie glanced back at her friend-and-partner, a brow cocked.
Atlee wilted under the discerning gaze, scratching the back of her neck with her free hand and stuffing her tongue idly into the side of her cotton candy. “Well, I mean, it’s a thought.”
“I think my apartment may have some kind of rules about exotic pets…” Misfit said awkwardly, lowering her eyes. “…But if they don’t we totally should!” She squealed, igniting a shriek of joy from Atlee.
“Maybe we can get a superhero discount!”
“Yeah! Well… provided we actually do some superhero-ing. So far we have yet to catch Killer Frost. Or. Y’know. Even find her.”
“Well, we will find her! We’ll find her, we’ll beat her because we’re awesome, and then we’ll go get one of those penguins!” Atlee puffed her chest out with a proud gleam in her eyes.
“Were you talking about those penguins?” A voice suddenly rumbled from behind the pair – far too deep and massive to belong to any normal human. It was monstrous in nature, causing the pair of teenage heroes to turn very hesitantly.
Standing before them was an enormous, hulking beast of a man, his flesh a deep, rubbery gray, and his eyes perched on a pair of thick stalks that adorned either end of his awkwardly-shaped head. Blood rimmed his mouth, and when he spoke again, a single little webbed foot could be seen lodged between two rows of huge, bladelike teeth. “My bad.”
Atlee’s mouth opened in horror, and her stick of cotton candy fell to the gum-stained pavement beneath her.
“…What?” The monstrous creature grunted.
Atlee took a hesitant step backwards, pointing one finger at the beast in horror.
“Wha—oh, right. Yeah. I’m King Shark. I’m… well, I’m a shark. That’s probably of some concern to you.”
Charlie swallowed the hard lump in her throat. This beast – this King Shark – was at least three feet taller than her, and probably weighed a good five times as much, which, as he had mentioned, was indeed of great concern to her and Atlee. “Alright, b-buster,” Misfit began, her voice squeaking a little bit more than usual. “What are you… what are you up to? And why did you eat those penguins?”
“The penguiiiins,” Atlee whimpered.
“Oh, I just went off my diet a few days ago, so I wanted somethin’ really fatty – er, I mean, well, the boss lady said to look for you, so I started checkin’ cold places.” He lifted one huge, clawed hand, starting to tick off fingers. “First I checked a couple of giant refrigerators, figured that was a safe bet, but you weren’t there… so I tried Dairy Queen, but they got kind of upset that I was there and there were honestly too many girls to sort through… then I started gettin’ kinda hungry and figured, hey, maybe the zoo. And whaddya know, here you are, so I guess I’m not as dumb as everyone says.”
“But why did you have to eat all the penguins?!” the stratan cried out.
“I was hungry, okay?! Jeez, I am trying to maintain my body image, and the first time I really binge I get flak for it? I’m gonna enjoy ripping your head off and chewing on your little tiny bones.” King Shark locked his animalistic jaws together awkwardly, giving him a look of strangely disappointed resolution. “But, big KF said I should give you a chance to surrender yourselves and the Heart Thingy, if you were teenagers, which I can see that you are. So let’s hear it – gimme the Icy Rock Thing and come with me, and I won’t tear you in half. Right now, anyway.”
“Well…” Charlie glanced up at King Shark, then down to her feet. “That’s a really good offer… but….”
“I always hate when they say ‘but’,” King Shark grumbled.
“But… I think I’d get a lot further with a little bit of—“ Misfit suddenly vanished in a puff of pale violet smoke. Atlee yelped and took a step back, and King Shark just let out a deep sigh.
“—Dark Vengeance!!!” Misfit roared as she bounced behind the hulking monster, landing a powerful left cross directly against the back of the beast’s neck. King Shark grunted idly, but remained unmoved. “Oh… that usually works a lot better.”
“Mhm, I bet it does,” King Shark said casually, pivoting at his hips and delivering a devastating backhand to Misfit that sent her violently skidding backwards across the sidewalk. “But I’ve taken hits from like, Superboy and Aquaman and whatever, so your little bitty hands just really sorta sting. Sorry.”
Misfit barely managed to teleport away (healing most of her injuries just before her body realized how bad they were) just before King Shark brought his foot down on where she had previously been. She reappeared behind Atlee, blood on her lips, coughs shuddering through her body. Terra narrowed her eyes and struck a powerful pose, as if guarding Charlie from this new threat.
“Oh, come on,” The Shark God growled. “Let’s not make this weird. Just come with me, I’ll put you in a nice garbage bag or something, and I’ll take you back for questioning. I don’t have to crush you both if you don’t want me to.”
“You haven’t proven yourself against me yet, fish-boy,” Atlee narrowed her eyes, a strange violet gleam beginning to illuminate them as she slowly lifted her hands, chunks of rock and earth blasting themselves up from the pavement.
King Shark tilted his head to the side slightly, pouting distinctly. “Look… I’m not sure how, but I get that you’re confused. But seriously, I’m a shark. Not a fish. A shark. Call me shark-guy, or shark-man, or shark-boy if that’s really necessary but let’s just get the facts straight—“ He was cut off by a sudden volley of powerfully-oncoming chunks of ground, heavy mounds of the sidewalk smashing against his smooth, pale gray chest like bullets and causing him to let loose a rough growl of genuine discomfort.
“How’s that, shark-boy!” Terra shouted over the sound of her repeated rocky blasts, driving the monstrous mercenary farther backwards with each hit. “Want us to come with you now?”
“NO!” he roared, swatting away the next incoming missile with one huge arm. “But I probably should anyway! So just… quit it!”
Misfit struggled to her feet, swirls of dusty purple energy spiraling around her as she seemed to blink in place, healing herself as much as possible before blasting herself back behind King Shark. This time, she tried to keep up – she bounced back and forth, up and down, narrowly avoiding Terra’s onslaught of earthy chunks while raining as many blows on their adversary as possible.
“You’re a mosquito! Enough!” the shark-for-hire boomed out, sweeping his arm out in a wide sweep while the other continued to deflect the incoming torrent of rock. His hand made contact, snapping against Misfit’s skull and knocking her out cold.
He kicked the prone teen roughly before turning back to Terra, his beady crimson eyes gleaming as he took firm hold of a particularly large chunk of rock. “You too!”
Even Atlee’s mastery of the ground beneath her feet was not enough to hold off the glob of rock that King Shark threw back at her. Her arms fell limp as it collided, her contact with the earth seeming to flicker and fade away along with her consciousness.
“Gah. That was harder than it needed to be,” Nanaue, the King of Sharks, mumbled quietly as he scooped up both girls and slung them over either broad shoulder. The onlooking zoogoers stood fairly still and silent as he strode past them, back into the streets of Manhattan and back towards his employer, Killer Frost.